Wine is a great conversation starter…
Something wee bit serious today…
For some time I’ve been meaning to write about e-communication and how deceptive it can be. Thanks to turistka I’ve finally got around doing it.
Take blogs, for example. Some people use blogs to express themselves – or so we think. A sort of a public diary, a personal blog can offer a great insight into some people’s thoughts, lives, feelings, etc… The trick, of course, is that the insight is not complete and unfethered, but is rather only a partial – censored, if you will – image of a particular blogger. Even more, it can be completely deceiving.
A particular blogger chooses (thus in effect censors) information he/she shares with the outside world. Even if the information is varied in nature and content it still seldomly paints a true picture of a person. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts and blogs fail to present the wholeness in its… well… wholesomness.
And while blogs do offer some sort of a medium for a meaningful debate (at least in theory), chats are even more perilous. Chatting by its very name implies the lack of any serious and meaningful conversation and is usually limited to short sentences and replies. The fact that a chat almost always ends up on the subject of sex might be just my trait, so I won’t dwell on that.
Almost the same goes for text-messaging (SMSing, as it is known in Slovenia). Limited to 160 or 320 charaters, one is limited to writing down basic information and squeeze in a smiley or two.
E-mails on the other hand offer a way too conveinent medium of presenting oneself in a far better and complex way than he/she might actually be. As the conversation is not “live”, both the author of a starting mail and the respondee have more than enough time to think over the contents of the mail, to “brush it up” and make it (and to make themselves) look better than in real life.
Talking over a phone is in my opinion slightly better. In addition to the actual conversation being conducted “live”, one can also hear the voice of the other party – enabling us to roughly discern the mood and nature of the person on the other side. Also, a slight tremble in the voice of a person who usually speaks loudly and clearly will more often than not indicate that something unusual has happened.
But even a conversation over a phone lacks one true ingredient of any conversation: non-verbal communication. The manner of the person, the way he/she behaves during conversation will tell you at least as much of him/her as the contents of his/her speech, enabling you to have as much clearer image of who you are actually talking to.
Now, I’m not saying that the above is true in every case and of every communication (especially if the two parties know each other), but to put it in scientific terms:
Any non-personal form of communication is subject to greater interference by outside factors and the probabitly that the receiver will interpret the message differently than the sender meant it is much higher than during a personal communication session.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t e-communicate, just that we should keep the above in mind. As for me: I love all forms of communication, but I’ll take a glass of wine and someone nice to talk to any day of the week and twice on Sundays.