Patience needed in spite of technology
Advances in technology are often billed as something fabulous because it makes our lives better.
Text messaging, email, smartphones, tablets – all fall into that category.
But what happens when you send a message … and get no response?
It causes frustration – and sometimes, lots of it. According to the Associated Press, a recent survey found that 39 percent of cell phone owners say people they know complain because they don't respond promptly to phone calls or messages. And, a third of cell phone owners say they have been told they don't check their phones often enough.
Experts in the AP story note that missed communications and a lack of response can cause “turbulence” in a relationship, from hurt feelings to missed business opportunities.
It wasn't that long ago that we didn't have cell phones. People had to call our homes and leave a message on our answering machines and – gasp! – wait for someone to choose to call back.
The same issue existed then. We could screen our calls through caller I.D., and we had a choice to make – answer or not, or call back or not.
It seems that as technology has made us more connected, it's also shortened our patience. People no longer want to wait for an answer or response. Instead, they expect it immediately, via their preferred form of communication, right now.
And the truth is, many of us are tethered to our smartphones or laptops or tablets, and the line between work and home and family is hopelessly blurred. It's information overload – how much can one really do at once? Watch TV while checking email while spending “quality time” with one's family? Something will eventually give on that front as well.
But it's healthy to set aside our technological vice of choice, and it's OK to not respond immediately. But there is a caveat to that – we have to respond in a reasonable amount of time to prevent this “turbulence” from happening, be it in work or personal relationships.
And really, none of these devices and methods of communication should replace the oldest one – human interaction. Text messaging and email are wonderful, to a point, but still, there periodically exists a need for actual human discourse. Oftentimes, a two-minute conversation can alleviate much of that turbulence and lead to smoother relationships all around.