It’s no secret we are becoming increasingly terrible at face-to-face communication. This is especially true for my generation since we can’t even remember life without email, texting, cell phones, and social media.
It doesn’t take too much research to find headline after headline about “the socially impaired generation” and “the death of face-to-face conversation.”
Look. We all know this trend is happening, and it’s pretty obvious why. We’re surrounded 24/7 by gadgets rather than people.
Don’t get the wrong idea… I’m not going to spend the next two sections regurgitating another article about technology. Instead, I want to talk about one of its profound implications.
Technology Allows Us to Hide Behind Our Fears
Almost all of our actions in life can be somehow traced back to fear. A fear of failure, a fear of rejection, a fear of the unknown, a fear of change, etc.
Communication is no different.
Why do you think we’ve grown to prefer emails and text messages over phone calls and meetings? One big reason is because they’re far less confrontational.
A live conversation is off the cuff and unscripted. It can go any number of directions, and often times, we don’t have control over the outcome. It’s far easier to just send an email.
We as human beings always default to the easiest path. As long as technology continues making our lives easier, we will continue using it to shield us from reality.
Just Pick Up the @$!% Phone
For the longest time, I was one of the most non-confrontation people around.
What I’ve since realized is that confrontation doesn’t have to be bad. Success in anything related to sales, purchases, relationships, negotiations, and social settings requires some degree of confrontation.
In order to push myself out of this rut, I’ve started asking a simple question each time I find myself in a tricky situation… “Could I solve this problem faster and more effectively if I just picked up the @$!% phone or talked to the person face-to-face?”
Even though it takes more work and thicker skin, the answer is almost always yes.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite books of all time: “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.” – Tim Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek)
See you next Sunday at 8:30pm. 🙂