Thursday, July 9, 2009

Communication Conundrums

I think the entire idea of communication is just fascinating. First, the fact that even tiny cells communicate (okay, they're little messages related to replicating, but still ...), wild animals, pets, all the way up to humans. Communication rocks.

It gets more complex when dealing with humans, of course; we're not just little cells sending out a sex signal (well, there are exceptions to every rule **cough** Paris Hilton). People have various means of communicating, and it's interesting to note the communication choices people go with.

I hate to talk on the telephone, for example (I'm sure I've said this before, but it bears repeating). I think AIM and Facebook are just the most amazing things--I can communicate via a computer in writing. I always sound far more intelligent when I'm writing than I do when I'm speaking. However, I know people that spend the greater part of their lives on the telephone. Then, of course, you get people like my daughter Addie that talks on the telephone, AIM, MySpace, and to the friend she has over all at the same time. I'd be so confused!!!!!!

The downside of communication between human beings, however, is undoubtedly the misunderstandings that crop up from time to time. I don't know about you, but if somebody says there's a "tone" in my voice that means I'm starting to get an attitude with them, it really bugs me. If there's a "tone" in my voice, it's usually because I just dumped a can of Coke in my lap while I was driving (you'd be surprised how often this happens ... I'm kind of a ridiculous klutz) or sped by a police officer going twenty over the speed limit.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's important to put things into perspective. If somebody sounds "off" on the phone, they might have a migraine, they might have an enormous amount of stress, they might have just received horrible news, they might be trying to do the dishes, and so on and so forth. If one of Addie's friends calls, for example (and this is an example that really doesn't happen since Addie has her own phone, but it's the closest example I can think of to what really happened, which is what set me off on this tangent), and asks to speak to her at ten or eleven when Addie has just gone to bed and I say, "Yeah, I'll see if I can get her up again" in probably not the most patient way, this has much to do with the fact that this phone call was the fourth in ten minutes, that I'm the person that has to wake Addie up and therefore suffer her wrath, and that my irritation isn't with the person that called but with the whole big picture.

Some people are so egocentric and narcissistic that they aren't able to see anyone's big picture beyond their own. The scope of their universe is solely on how everything impacts THEM. As far as they're concerned, if it's convenient for them, well then, hell, it had just better be convenient for everybody.

And God forbid you don't see things their way ... that's where the hard-core nastiness comes in.

Communication is at least a two-way street. That puts a lot of variables into the equation, and anyone that doesn't see that is at best short-sighted and at worst a selfish, spoiled, childish, ignorant moron.

Not that I'm talking about anyone specific, mind you ;)