In the nineties BT ran a campaign with the slogan “it’s good to talk”. But that was the nineties and today BT no longer uses that slogan. But then we are living in a very different world. Back then the landline was king. It was either –
- Ring someone’s house.
- Send a fax (do people still fax? )
- Write a letter.
- Or if you were very important you might have a pager!
Today we have mobiles and I have a sneaky suspicion that nowadays our prefered method of contact is WhatsApp or texting. We now live in a very digital age. We have access to the internet on our phones, people now tweet their day in 140 characters or less and Instagram shows our supposedly picture perfect life. So in this very modern society do we still believe that it is good to talk?
Less talking please
An ex-boyfriend once told me that I talked too much. He cited this as one of the reasons he kept sleeping with other women. I mean that really was taking the man cave idea to a whole other level! At the time I was devastated by the constant betrayals and blamed myself so I started to tip-toe around him, our flat now full of seething silence. If I had been allowed to talk; if I had been able to express myself I probably would have had the strength to leave the relationship a lot earlier. One of his favourite things to say to me was
“you say it best when you say nothing at all”
He didn’t mean it in the affectionate manner that Ronan Keating sang it, it was my signal to shut up. It took me at least a year to fully leave the relationship. When I finally did he suddenly wanted to talk. He started ringing me up in the middle of the night, crying or shouting down the phone. The good thing about a mobile phone is that you can hang-up and turn it off. Now he knew what it felt like to be silenced.
Talking has become tacky
Technology makes it easier not to talk face to face, it helps us avoid awkward situations. If we don’t want to speak to someone we can turn our phones off. However, we are told that the key to a strong family unit is the ability to be open and to talk. So why is it that when I think of families being open and talking about their problems I think of Jeremy Kyle where it kicks off.
All. Of. The. Time.
Surely that is proof enough that talking and telling the truth is not always a good thing. Is talking a little tacky? You see technology doesn’t make us less social it helps us become more social. No longer do we have to endure that awkward conversation. We can now put it into an email, hit send and forget about it. Putting it in an email or a text allows you to be braver, it allows you to say what you really mean and how you really feel.
Technology hasn’t ripped us of our ability to talk,
it has liberated us.
How I was finally able to get my ex to get the message? I sent him an email. An email which I spent ages writing. An email that ensured he got the message once and for all because it was a dialogue that I was able to control. You see technology has allowed us to be more truthful, you might even argue that it has given some of us a voice. Our relationships are evolving because of technology. Technology allows us to forge connections around the world and it allows us to share our stories online.
Talking does help
So yes I do believe that it is good to talk but it is down to us to decide how we do it. Texting, emailing and phoning are all valid ways of communicating. However, we also need to remember that face to face communication (or at least skype or FaceTime 😉 ) is still the most important way of communicating. It is really important that we continue to nurture our face to face conversations but when things get a little awkward, well there is always email 😉
Do you think it’s good to talk and does it matter how we talk?