It’s time to take David Cain’s advice and “talk like we used to.”
I was invited to a backyard jazz performance today. Individuals beinged in lawn chairs while the seven-piece band played from the deck. Music cleaned over us for hours as the sun went down. It filled the whole community, triggering vehicles to decrease as they drove previous and individuals to gather on the pathway, wondering about the source of this extraordinary show in our village.
At one point at night, the band started to play The Lady from Ipanema and I grabbed my phone. I was conquered with a desire to record the minute, to record this interpretation of among my preferred pieces of music, but my other half stopped me with an appearance. “Do not do it! Just enjoy it.” Hesitantly, I dropped my hand and sat back. I focused intently on the whole piece, wishing to imprint it on my mind permanently.
Our interaction made me realize how typically I reach for my phone in an effort to (a) immortalize experiences (that, let’s be honest, are not almost as special as that performance), and (b) share them with others. This awareness made me uncomfortable. I dislike being around individuals who are constantly recording their everyday lives and publishing it to social networks, and yet I understand that I do it more than I should.
When I encountered a recent blog post by David Cain, titled “ Let’s Talk Like We Used To,” it got me thinking of how significantly human communication has actually changed in simply a few years and how those modifications aren’t necessarily for the much better. Some elements of modern connectivity are terrific, like having the ability to connect in a hectic public space, navigate when lost, text or email a quick message.
But at the same time, we’re losing the ability– and even the willingness, I ‘d say– to interact with individuals on a much deeper, more concentrated level. We’re so worried with crafting an online persona, submitting pictures and videos to support that persona, and bring on shallow screen-based interactions with individuals that we’re failing to forge and build meaningful human relationships.
” Let’s talk like we used to” was Cain’s rallying cry to go back to the blogging design of 10 years earlier, when individuals wrote stuff just for the fun of it and hoped others might relate, without stressing over page views and seo.
I translate the expression literally. We need to start looking each other in the eye, sitting throughout from each other at a table without interruptions, utilizing our voices to speak, rather than our fingers, spending more time in a friend’s presence than scrolling through Instagram stories.
Therefore, I’m going to make some changes to my own actions. I will focus on call over texts, since whenever I do it, I feel a lot better (and it takes less time). I will begin leaving my phone in the house when I go out, or leaving it in my bag without checking it. I will stop putting it on the table, even if it’s face-down. I will try not to take a look at my phone when my kids are around. I will check e-mail once a day. I will make every effort to practice ‘digital silence’ on my individual social networks accounts; this is the act of observing without contributing to the noisy online world.
That’s what I did in the backyard that night. In that minute, “let’s talk like we used to” indicated putting down the phone and listening to the jazz band as if it were the last time I ‘d ever hear The Woman from Ipanema, and who cares if the remainder of the world would never understand just how exquisite it was? I do since I was there, sitting with my partner, enjoying the sundown, and paying closer attention than I have in a long period of time.
Put down the phone. Soak in reality.