The other day, my 5- and 6-year-old daughters were singing the words to the song “Nerves” by Terri Hendrix. My 5-year-old sang, “You’re getting on my nurses.” (You should’ve seen me look at her and NOT react). Then my 6-year-old said, “No, Gracie, it’s supposed to be, ‘You’re getting on my nerds.’” (Again, I am sure the look on my face was something else). In an attempt to help them with the actual lyrics I then said, “Girls, you’re getting on my nerves.” Madi immediately said, “Oh sorry about that, Mom.” I almost felt like I was in a Stooges movie or playing “Who’s on first?”
I am sure you’ve also seen or heard where people say it’s super important to utilize commas appropriately otherwise, “Let’s eat Grandma” rather than “Let’s eat, Grandma” becomes something gross due to the lack of a comma.
Misunderstandings and miscommunications happen all the time, especially in today’s day of technology, where emails and texts can be the most commonly used forms of communicating. When using these platforms, I think people sometimes lose that personal touch that a phone call or face-to-face conversation allows for.
I think I am one of very few people at Western Wyoming Community College that actually prefers to have the camera feature open when I am on my phone. I like to see the people I am talking with, or at the very least, I prefer ear-to-ear conversations over texts and emails whenever possible. I like to think I am building relationships with those I work with because of the extra time I take to personalize our conversations. It’s how I was raised, and I am proud of that. At the same time, I do realize there are many times people are not available at the moment I want to talk to them.
I’m not saying I don’t utilize email and texting. I do and I survive. However, I am very much a people person and I do believe that when possible, real talk has helped me minimize some miscommunications and misunderstandings. I like dealing directly with people.
On the other hand, I still have a lot of work to do with my communication skills, because with emails and texts, you don’t really have the chance to interrupt. Usually you respond after reading a message in its entirety. You read their message completely then hit reply. So, that is one I still have to work on: I have to remind myself to let the other person finish completely when talking live with them, then to give myself a few seconds to absorb, digest, mull and process before responding and clarifying what they said.
Another thing I thank my parents and grandparents for instilling in me: handshakes and promises. I realize that contracts are imperative, but I’m still a fan of telling someone something and them knowing that I mean it and I am good to my word! In my house, my family and I are all about pinkie promises. Broken promises do stink, but I’d like to think that most people operate in “what’s right and good” most of the time.
Charles Dickens said, “Electronic communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” I genuinely believe that people see my good intentions and deeper relationships are built with more person interactions. So, even though I am slowly becoming more proficient with social media, emailing, texting and typing in general, I will take that opportunity to meet up with you, have coffee, or walk and talk whenever I can. TALK to you later! Have a great day!
Lu Sweet is the athletic director at Western Wyoming Community College. She has been an educator in Rock Springs for two decades.