The Problem With Paper ~ by Andi Lawrencovna

Or electronic pages…whatever…this is really about the problem
photo: pexels
with words on paper, or screens, or wherever that is not verbal. And, to be clear, by verbal, I mean “in person” with one another.

Consider this: when you are having a conversation with someone, face to face or over the phone, you can hear the inflection to their words which gives you a perspective on the feelings being conveyed. If it’s in person, body language, hand movements, twitches all tell a story that may or may not go along with the words being spoken. The same goes for sign-language too, since gestures come with speed and sharpness or smoothness to denote emotion as well.

Not so much with paper.

On paper…our options are limited.

“LOL”

Not really meaning “laughing out loud,” so much as it means: “I’m joking!” when you type it at the end of a sentence.

“Sigh.”

…okay, that one’s pretty obvious, but, whatever. (lol) (See what I did there?)

But a sigh can showcase exasperation, or want, or romance…so, I take it back, it’s actually not that obvious a “descriptor” either.

Which is, “okay,” I guess, in texts, except it’s hard to interpret the emotion behind the words. What I type can be construed differently in what you read.

“You’re dead to me!”

HOLY COW!?!?!?! What did I do!?!?!

“You’re dead to me! I just spit coffee everywhere when I read that!”

Oh…that’s in reference to a joke I made…and you’re laughing at it, it’s not real.

But when we’re typing our comments to each other, and when
Photo: Deposit Photos
we’re typing fast, those explanations don’t get thrown in the way they always should. And worse, when they do get thrown in, sometimes they don’t actually explain anything anyways!

More and more people are relying on non-verbal means of communication as an expedient way of staying in touch. (Not including hand written letters here…those are a different thing entirely!)

And in using text messaging or emailing, we’re losing our ability to communicate, to learn to read and respond to and interpret emotions, or emote ourselves, face to face. Not only that, but we’re becoming embittered by the “hassle” of having to answer a phone call. Granted, part of that is because telemarketing is a nightmare and nowadays you never know if you’re answering a machine’s call or a person!

Sorry…sorry…I digress.

I always like to include challenges in these posts because, for some reason, I respond well to being challenged by people to do things!

So here’s your challenge today.

Call someone.

Don’t text message them. Don’t email. If they don’t answer, leave a message and tell them: “Just wanted to call and talk to you over the phone. I feel like I haven’t spoken with you in a while and wanted to catch up.”

Make it a mission to have a conversation, whether with a friend, a family member, or your random “number-neighbor”…apparently that’s some new trend online…? I don’t know.

The point is, a phone call can allow you to show more emotion,
Photo: Deposit Photos
share emotion, with someone else a lot better than a text message can. Allow yourself to become involved in someone else’s life with a warm hello, not a picture on Instagram.

I’m not trying to bring back a “dying medium” in speaking on phones. Just trying to bring back the emotion that emoticons have stripped from communication lately.

And if that’s not enough incentive, think of it like this: a text message is easy to respond “good” or “okay” too…but a phone call let’s you hear the inflection and KNOW if the person you’re talking to is really “okay” or “good” or if that’s them reaching out needing to say more and not knowing how to “text it” to you.

Right now we’re all uniquely privileged to be going through this weird quarantine period. And yeah, I said privileged. Think about it: have you ever used Zoom or MeetUps or whatever-online-web-video-chat-platforms are out there before now REGULARLY? (I haven’t…so…sorry for lumping everyone in with me from that standpoint! Lol – jokingly said, not laughing out loud!) We are being given the opportunity and the responsibility to reach out and talk to people face to face online, when we can’t speak in actual person. Don’t let this gift go! I’ve seen my relatives more these past two months with Zoom than I have in the past 6 months since they live out of town. Friends I’ve only ever met online I’ve Video conferenced with and seen their faces and their smiles. I’ve heard their voices and learned their expressions because of phone calls to “check in” and keep myself and them sane by having some sort of communication with them.

Sometimes, the inconvenience of picking up a phone is a greater privilege than reading a text message.

So, the trouble with paper, with screens, can be overcome. And I just thought…what a better time to reach out than right now when we can all use a bit more than a text check-in once in a while.

Happy Phone Calls, everyone!

L.O.L.
(Lots of love!)
Andi 

Photo: Deposit Photos
PS. I almost forgot about handwritten letters! The GOOD news of paper! A handwritten letter is such a gift too! It means you took the time to write words to another person, send it in the mail, and it’s not a bill from a collector that they have to fret about! LETTERS ARE AMAZING! 

Photo: Deposit photos
And, if you don’t believe me, I am more than willing to show you how! Originality By Design is going to help me out with this one and if you would like a handwritten letter from me, to see the power of the pen and not the keyboard, leave a comment stating you'd like that. I will gather your information from your response.  I try to send out a letter to someone once a week to bring a smile to their face! And I want to share that with you, too. 

Let me show you how good communication can be, and maybe I can inspire you to reach out and share this new form of old-fashioned love with another! 



2 comments:

  1. I love this post. We don't realize how important "face time in person" is until we can't do it. The phone calls are essential AND writing letters is something I have always done. Yay you for bringing our thinking around to possibly resurrecting this form of communication.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is SO true. Sometimes the written post can sting when it was not intended to. I love talking in person. And when that is not possible, by phone.
    Great job, Andi!

    ReplyDelete

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