Editorial: Have We Forgotten How To Communicate Well?

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We have so many tools of communications today. We email. We text. We send Facebook messages. We tweet. We ooVoo. We Skype. We walk down the street with BlueTooth headsets in our ears. We have to be reminded not to text while driving – “It Can Wait.”

Our options are endless. Yet, with all of these tools at our fingertips, are we really communicating well anymore? Are we expressing ourselves so that others understand what we mean and how we feel? Are we respecting others’ opinions as well as our own? Are we making our loved ones feel special by posting Happy Birthday on their Facebook feeds instead of picking up the phone and calling them, or making time to actually see them?

Without having to look another person in the eye, do we feel empowered to send emails that might—and sometimes do—make others angry, upset or hurt? Are we quick to judge because of the fast pace of our modern communication? Do we take the time to stop, really listen and try to understand other points of view?

Our communication has become fast and furious. But, maybe we

need to take a deep breath and think about the effect of our communication on our recipients. Should I type things that I wouldn’t have the nerve to say face to face? Shouldn’t I re-read my text and think about how it may be interpreted differently than I meant?

We can all benefit from taking a moment or two to truly think about what we are saying ahead of time, to make sure that our communication is free of sarcasm and criticism, and is not potentially hurtful. And, of course, to really listen to the response and try to understand it. Count to 10 before you send that next text, email or Facebook message. It will make you—and no doubt your audience as well—feel so much better.

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