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Friday, May 7, 2010

Why is communication so difficult?

Communication is difficult and growing increasingly more difficult at a geometric rate. We are losing the ability to listen, really listen,and to understand others. Our tolerance levels are strained by a surplus of messages, diversity of information sources and a decrease in how we are taught about the civic responsibilities of any democracy or consumer society. A Congressman heckles the president and there are Americans who support him and say that that is the proper behavior. We have a tendency to push individual rights over the rights of the group and the overall civility of the greater society. It has become about "me" and "I" over "us", "we" and humankind. At the same time political correctness, uniformity of action and a lack of tolerance of difference or change (the term "conservative" means resistant to change) have filtered deep into our roots as a people. Freedom of religion may be threatened by far away extremist openly attacking on our own soil and the constant threat that it could happen again, or wars on foreign soil pitting one faith or society against another. Mass media in instant communication have taken the place of long interpersonal communication. Changes in society, a rapid increase in messages communicated, generational divides, the instant ease of technology assisted communication, a decrease in civility, a shift in how we interpret and use our literacy, and a fear of the pain that comes with change may have led to a change in who we are and how we communicate.



All is not lost as it is possible this may be an evolution or change that in the end, after a painful period of yelling replacing debate, polarized discussions replacing true interpretations of news and events, we could end up with a new heightened and better communication universe.

The jury is out.

What are your thoughts?