As I’ve said before, my children are now past the children stage and really in the older teen or youngish adult stage. Periodically, we actually speak in person to each other, which usually consists of me asking questions and them grunting responses or staring blankly at me. However, most of our communications these days are by text. My children can text at the rate of about six words per second and, well, I can’t. As a result, sometimes our text conversations are a bit one-sided, like this:
Daughter: Can I go to Trina’s house?
Daughter: You there?
Daughter: Yes, you’re there, or yes, I can go to Trina’s house?
Daughter: Ok. Byeeeeeee.
After one conversation when I unwittingly gave permission for my daughter to dye her hair purple, I immediately called her phone number to clarify. No answer. Seriously? She just texted and now was far enough from her phone that she couldn’t hear it ringing? When I finally tracked her down, her response was, “Oh, I thought we were done communicating.”
This makes me ponder how, with all our technology, real communication can be tricky at times — especially if you’re in a situation where you need to address difficult topics or discuss hard-to-grasp ideas. George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” I guess he knew my daughter.
For this year’s virtual annual conference, a whole track of learning objects about communications was compiled, ranging from creating social media communities to understanding organizational communication and keeping communication open and organized. If you didn’t get a chance to view these learning objects, the conference site is still open and available as an ongoing resource. As for the purple hair, I’ll save that story for a future blog on choosing your battles. See you there.