“It’s a sad fact that while most of us spend a sizeable part of our lives communicating with others – in face-to-face conversations, over the phone, in committee meetings, via e-mail and social networks – we seem more separate and disconnected than ever.
Genuine understanding seems to be the exception rather than the norm in everyday communication. We speak at each other, or past each other. We speak different conceptual languages, hold different values, embody different ways of seeing the world.
Much of the time, we’re not even listening to each other at all. The dialogue is a monologue. We fire salvos of information across the Internet, or shoot each other text messages, or blog or Twitter or Plurk about ourselves. But is anyone paying attention? And if they are, do they catch our drift? The trouble with much of what passes for communication today is that it’s all crosstalk. It’s a din, not a dialogue.
The noisy chatter reflects the fact that we don’t really know how to engage one another in authentic conversations. We simply haven’t learned the skills of listening closely to each other, of engaging in meaningful exchanges, and of finding shared sources of meaning. We lack the know-how and the tools.”
(via Scott London)