By Vestal Hutchens
In my February article to Resident Press I made the case that there are many problems in today’s culture, society, and political climate; indeed in every area of life. This should not come as a surprise to anyone as trials and tribulations eventually come to all of us. It seems this past year has had its full share.
Nevertheless, I have always remained an optimist, choosing to define a “problem” as an “opportunity” for a solution.
Could it be that our inability to solve many of our problems stems from our inability to accurately identify and DEFINE them? I suspect that many problems remain unidentified, undefined, and unsolved because of an inability to property, truly, and accurately communicate.
We think that our ability to communicate is enhanced and made so much better with today’s technology. Why, we have internet websites, I-phones, I-pads, (is there such a thing as an I-pod?) Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google and I don’t know what all else.
But stop and think and ask yourself if words on a screen (with-out punctuation) actually do any more than just transmit information.
Whole communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Even though you are “technically” (double meaning) engaged in “non-verbal” (double meaning) communication, absolutely no “non-verbal” (double meaning) communication takes place in a text or e-mail.
Nonverbal communication involves much more than the spoken word (and some say conveys more). Some aspects of non-verbal communication are: eye contact (or not), inflection, tone, volume, gesture, posture (leaning forward or back, shuffling feet, shrugging, turning head), and pauses. I cannot think of any way to effectively use any of these eleven means of communication in a text or e-mail.
And are you being totally honest in your communication if you are using Skype and one or both are sitting in front of a camera showing waist up only, and are in Pjs or underwear. You wouldn’t (hopefully) meet in a coffee shop, on the street, or in each other’s homes (undressed that way) to talk about an issue or problem.
I think that if two common sense individuals met eye to eye to verbally discuss an issue or a problem, using a common language and an understood vocabulary (use a dictionary if necessary) with full non-verbal interaction, chances are they would come up with an accurate definition as well as multiple possible ideas to solve the problem.
And who knows, one of them might work!