If you think the topic of communication is boring, redundant, or overrated, I’d like you to immediately find a bathroom and drop your device into the toilet. Seriously. I mean it.
Now that I’ve weeded out the riffraff, permit me to state the obvious. Communication is always important, and now more than ever. We’ve all experienced some degree of confinement over the past few months, and unless you’re living in a remote cabin in the woods, you’ve been exposed to far too much bad news. Our coping skills have been challenged and, as a result, I think it’s important for us to talk about our fears and concerns. It’s also important for us to talk about the mundane, day-to-day things, such as what we made for dinner, what we watched on Netflix, and what we couldn’t find at the grocery store.
I have a handful of people with whom I communicate on a regular, sometimes daily basis. I also am fortunate enough to have a second handful of people who reach out to me occasionally. I’m sure you can fill both of your hands with people in your world. What I’m wondering now is, do you reach out to those in your second handful? How long do you suppose it would take you to text five people today to check in and see how they’re doing? Five minutes, maybe? And what if those five people each took five minutes to reach out to five more people? I’m no mathematician, but I know the calculations could become exponential.
What we might not be able calculate is whether a momentary gesture to someone outside of your “A-List” might bring a person in off the metaphorical ledge. Loneliness and isolation are challenging at best, and quite possibly devastating at worst. A brief “hello, how’re you doing?” can speak volumes to the recipient. It’s happened to me more than once during the past few months, and hearing from somebody I haven’t connected with in forever brings a smile to my face every single time. And then I pay it forward in the hopes that I can help bring a smile to someone else’s face.
I think we can all agree that the human need for communication is obvious. So now I’m curious to know how you rank these forms of communication in the order of your personal preference:
Virtual (face-time, or Zoom, etc.)
Obviously, the form of communication depends upon what needs to be communicated, so for purposes of your ranking, I’d like to suggest that the communication mission is a non-urgent connection.
After much thought, this is my order from best to not-so-much: (1) in-person conversation; (2) text; (3) virtual; (4) email; and (5) phone call.
Please comment and rank your choices from most to least favorite. I wonder if we’ll reach a consensus? I promise to report the results at a later date.