I believe that many of us are suffering from a phone-less syndrome, a condition where levels of anxiety run high as soon we feel our phone is out of reach.
Our mobile device has become the center of our personal space; just looking or touching it gives us a sense of comfort and security. Proximity is a must. God forbid that you left it in the car or at home. You just have to go back to it.
Undeniably, it offers invaluable services, it is an indispensable tool enabling us to reach anything and to be reached. An unlimited source of business, networking and entertaining. It has the ability to challenge and amaze and has made us ubiquitous and multitasking.
In response to this marvelous invention, our human hands have learned to text on a diminutive keyboard, and our thumbs have built extra sensitivity to swipe through photos, music, news and millions of apps.
At the moment and fortunately, our phone is not able to read our minds or express love and compassion for others. Our phone cannot reproduce the emotional highs of a rewarding conversation or the profound sentiment expressed by a child’s laugh or the touch of a loved one.
Our human software is still fully operational; nevertheless, we are witnessing some signs of erosion- most notably, the loss of the art of conversation.
How many times have you tried to have a conversation with someone who is perpetually preoccupied with the phone? Probably thousands. So much so that you are not bothered by it anymore. It is the new normal.
A conversation is an open space we share to express our thoughts and feelings. It is a journey to imagine, to create and expand our souls and is the natural way to establish connections with other human beings.
And yet, what has suffered most in the slow decay of conversations is our ability to listen. Listening is the entry point to connect and to establish a dialogue based on empathy and understanding. Nowadays, we are listening not to understand but to respond, exactly like Siri.
It is up to us to engage our capacity to converse or to replace it by a sophisticated app.
Just think of how different our world could be if we could partake in conversations premised on listening with attention and respect. Aren’t you curious to discover what insights will be revealed form the person sitting in front of you, what unknown territory you could explore together and what wonders could you find by listening to each other?