Communicating is a very fascinating subject to explore, especially considering the turmoil (or confusion) currently taking place in the world today. This recent disorder and distrust is not limited just to the rhetoric but also involves the wide variety of methods available for us to interact.
Presently there are a multitude of ways to communicate, ranging from a basic face-to-face to the extensive profusion of social media domains. Is the use or overuse of online networking, such as Twitter, replacing conversing with your neighbor over the backyard fence? More simply, are these in-person dialogs being replaced by the very impersonal and seemingly unrestricted barrage of tweets?
Are today’s chatroom abbreviations similar to the paintings on the walls of ancient caves? This should lead us to pondering the similarities between hieroglyphs and the ever-expanding array of emoji.
Another reminder of how we are communicating with each other is contained in the proverb: “What goes around comes around.” True or not, it seems that quite often what we say or do, good or bad, ends up cycling back to us in some form or another.
Many people feel that it is better to abstain rather than participate; however, this avoidance of interactive interchange is actually a form of communication inertia. With all this in mind, it is perhaps productive that we do not practice an abstention form of collaborative communication, but willingly share our ideas with others through a variety of forums.
Should we have the same skepticism that is present in the lyrics of Marvin Gaye’s “l Heard It Through the Grapevine” or should we reach out to others by the multitude of means available for us to interconnect and to share? More importantly, let us try to keep it clear and simple as we communicate.
There should be attempts to enhance and expand how we communicate with family, friends and neighbors. Too many times it seems our words and actions are saying “stay out” or “do not enter!” Now is the time to make a conscious effort to reinstate a welcoming attitude throughout our society.
There are many ways to express care and concern for our neighbors and others. A smiley face, a welcome mat, or a sign that states in some fashion or other to “please come in” as this is a safe and friendly place.
Are we communicating with ourselves when we look in the mirror? Are we content with that reflection or do we need to work on becoming a more recognizable and inviting smiley face both to ourselves and others?
Throughout time, mankind has felt the need to connect and today is no different. Again, remember that to remain silent can be interpreted as consent. This is even more of a reason for us to get back to the very basics of friendly communication such as a nod of the head, an acceptable handshake, or a simple hand-written note which hopefully will boomerang right back to us.
Communication has experienced a long and diverse history; consequently, an examination of this evolution might be in order.
Sammamish resident Larry Crandall is a retired educator and serves on the city’s Planning Commission.