As we embark on another semester at MacEwan University, it’s likely a good time to talk about talking…to each other…in person…face-to-face. Seriously, how often do any meaningful discussions take place these days between people in this “old-fashioned” way? More and more, the conversations in our lives are happening electronically. And not only the routine “What’s up?” conversations between friends, family members, or co-workers but the deeper, more meaningful, more important talks are shifting from face-to-face to phone-to-phone. Why? I suppose there’s the convenience factor: it’s simply easier to send a text or Snapchat message because virtually everyone is virtually plugged-in 24/7. But I think there’s more to it than just convenience. I think it’s a disturbing mix of convenience, laziness, irresponsibility, immaturity, and fear. How many of you know, or know of, someone who had a relationship end via text message? How many of your friends have “called in” sick to work with an email? How many of you have been targeted/criticized/singled out by an upset or angry co-worker in an “all staff” email? I’d bet most, if not all of us can relate.
So, as we wind down another year of digital disruption and social media mishaps around the world, it may be time to consider another approach, one of a more personal nature: put the phone away and talk to each other. Sure, leave the day-to-day, yadda-yadda stuff in the electronic realm but when it comes to the important conversations why not go back to the basics and initiate some human interaction?