Sunday, May 15, 2016

Don’t Ignore the Message… and Don’t Kill the Messenger

We live in one of the most connected ages in all of history. When important or urgent news happens, within moments the rest of the world can be informed. It spreads like a shot heard around the world. We can reach out to each other individually or collectively through many different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And on a smaller scale in one on one communications we have the same options plus the much more sophisticated versions of an old standard, the phone.

Despite the things we have available to us though, this time in history is also one of the most disconnected times in history.

Some of you might relate: You can see someone through Facebook, see that they’re online. You can see when they’ve seen or looked at a private message for example. And yet, amazingly they don’t respond to you… not even to say that they are busy, or headed out the door, or will get back with you later.

You leave a text or a voicemail and it dies there… left in limbo… forever… ignored.

There was a time, not so long ago, where that would be considered… well, impolite to put it mildly.

Once in a while I’ve even heard the… umm, sorry can’t put this one mildly…, lame excuse, that your text or voicemail was: dropped, lost, or otherwise didn’t reach its destination. Sorry… don’t buy these anymore.

Can we just agree on something here?

 The reality is that for whatever reason, you chose to ignore it… to ignore the person who in good faith sent it to you.

Communication only works when it runs both ways.

If you want the communication to stop then you have to man or woman up and let the sender know that you’re being bothered.

If you think that this sounds like someone is being hurt by your lack of response, guess what Einstein: “Yah think?”

Being ignored… yeah it does hurt… it hurts both ways. Because, I can tell you, it’s definitely a lot less likely that the person who just sent you that ignored communication take that risk again with you.

Keep this in mind… if that communication was face to face, would you have actually been that rude in person? Think about it… if it’s not right to do face to face, then how could you think it’s ok to do in any other form of communication?

This generation needs to grow up in so many ways, but they definitely get a “D” on communication.

Just because the tools exist does not mean they are used properly.

I am a man of words. I am a writer and I hope an ok communicator. I wrote this piece because there are times I feel that very few of us are continuing to sharpen our communication skills. I am very far from perfect and I know that this piece will ruffle a few feathers but, well… so be it. Sometimes feathers ought to be ruffled. Comfort just like silence needs to be interrupted so that change and growth can happen. Maybe we all ought to wake up once in a while and understand that just as often as our actions can cause good or evil to happen, equally, our inaction and our ignoring of events around us can also cause unintended negative events to unravel.

Think about it…

That’s all this was about, at least if you had the patience to read this, to hopefully make you think the next time you ignore someone reaching out to you… yeah, maybe even me…

Peace…. Mike