I am reminded on a regular basis how important it is to talk.
I don’t mean the type of day to day talking, I mean really talk. You know the mushy sensitive stuff. Feelings, problems, hopes and dreams.
I know that may seem like a nauseating way to start a blog but it is true.
It wasn’t that long ago that we actually had to pick up a phone, write a letter or physically pop over to have a conversation with someone. Shock horror to the Gen Z-ers but we didn’t have mobile phones or the internet. Yet now we don’t have to do that, many of us (myself included at times) have forgotten the value of conversation.
Just that general tone of your voice, or the look on your face may be enough of a trigger for someone to know something wasn’t right, there was something you wanted to say, some exciting news to share.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do that more than perhaps some of us do (its a thumbs up from me!)?
In a world where technology essentially rules our lives in too many ways to comprehend there are positive and negatives. Negatives in so much as we run the risk of disconnecting from ourselves and our lives and hiding away.
But there are so many positives too. We are now able to speak to people regularly and easily through the internet – still ‘on the phone’ but a different method. Yet we often don’t take the time to do that.
I appreciate I am generalising but our ways and means of communication have changed and it isn’t as easy as it should be to really say what we want to, in the right way, to the right people, to get the support that sometimes we badly need.
There are those of us that immerse themselves in social media in the lives of others in an attempt to find ourselves but ultimately that doesn’t help us or console us from the problem we are facing. In fact it can sometimes make that whole process far worse. Those calls to your mate have been replaced with text messages where emotions are displayed through emojis.
Perhaps I am showing my age but the importance of communication should not be understated. How to communicate I appreciate varies, but it is so much easier now to shy away from true communication. We live in a world where we are now so connected we physically don’t have to speak to people anymore if we don’t want to, even at work in some cases (thank you emails and instant messenger).
In reality face to face communication I still believe is the best. It works not just for your professional life but also for friendship and family.
People want to build relationships with people.
It is still most optimal to do this in person but there are situations where that isn’t possible and we have to find other ways to connect in an equivalent ‘face to face’ manner.
I am always comforted to see that there are so many support groups for so many different things that bring people together and encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings on that subject or issue. But it should be the one step, not the only step particularly when we really need support.
We all know that when things are written down they can be misinterpreted and that poor use of an emoji in the wrong place or a grammatically challenged paragraph can have a different meaning to someone than was originally anticipated. This more faceless style of communication has its place but it doesn’t always help us build relationships and help us to get the support we need.
This is something I have been working hard on over the last few months (and I don’t specifically mean my grammatically challenged writing which I realise also needs work).
I have the immense privilege to take over as Director of MRKH Connect a registered charity set up in 2014 with the primary aim to provide a safe and secure space for MRKH women to connect and chat from all over the world including through its interactive map, chat and forum. Always having the focus of bringing people together. No one should feel alone.
Bringing people together is not just ‘virtually’ but it was designed to help connect you with those locally to you, wherever you are, as a conduit for meeting people in person.
Of course that doesn’t underplay that seeking support and then having the strength to attend a support group meeting or grab a coffee with a new online friend is easy. The main thing is that help and support can be found, on your terms.
Whilst not intending (at all) to underplay this important role here, or indeed my excitement to take this on, we are in the midst of a relaunch of the charity and there is lots more exciting news to come on this over the coming weeks so I will save more details on this specifically until then.
I did however see it as a useful example to support this blog. How we talk and interact with people is obviously changing and has changed even over the liftime of the charity. There are now different considerations when it comes to how we build connections in an effective way so they are meaningful and so that those who need support, at those critical times, get it.
This doesn’t just affect one generation, therefore building something that ticks a lot of boxes is challenging for that reason. But ultimately ‘talking’ is where we need to get back to.
I live 9,500 miles from one of my closest friends and its not always easy with the time difference to speak on the phone so we leave each other conversational voice recordings. That way its like having a (super delayed) conversation with each other. We can hear each others voices, understand (and hear) how they are and what they have been up to.
We can share our thoughts and feelings just as we would on the phone but without the immediate response we would normally get, although of course we both know thats there as needed particularly where its important.
Thats not necessarily ideal either but we both found it a much better way to feel more connected to each other and still feel able to actually share things than just texting.
Talking doesn’t have to mean actual mouth-open-speaking to someone (albeit its still my personal preference) sitting opposite you or on the phone. Talking now is different but it is no less important.
In our increasingly technological world we need to find ways to still be able to talk and share our feelings, problems, hopes and dreams. If that can’t be in person then with all this technology available there is always another way.
Never stop taking those moments to talk in whatever form that takes for you. Even if you don’t have something to say maybe they do.
In the immortal words of Bob Hoskins “It’s good to talk”