#NoComment #DisappearingAct

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I don’t receive many comments or questions to these blog posts, and with comments it’s difficult to tell how to respond. Like the comment? Comment on the comment?

And, really, no questions at all.

Not that comments or questions would be unwelcome, by any means.  I don’t write things of high controversy, though; I just write about experiences, trying to keep to a topic. Other blogs, other vlogs, they focus on tips, tricks, even the occasional lecture or rant. I try not to do that here; this venue is more like a documentation of my days, whether they bring me magic or mistakes I make. I think of blogging or blogging in the same way I think of memoir or fiction; writing to and reading from to know that we are not alone.

I save the ranting for social media, although, I wouldn’t always call it ranting. Oh, sure, if some idiot tries something stupid on a scooter I come unglued, but for the most part I am flummoxed by social media. Sometimes I shout-out to folks whose books and music and podcasts I love. Sometimes I comment on regular and recurrent posts (I’m thinking mostly of YouTube here, but this could also apply to any of the other platforms).

Rarely I get responses.

I find this silence a bit confusing. (Irony compounds pending the subject matter; I shouted out my adoration for a book about being alone recently and received silence from the author, which seemed too on the nose.) Are those who post the content looking for feedback? Some of them say that they do at the end of their content (“like us, share, send us a comment!” they say, all sparkles), and some of them ask questions at the end of their content and want to “hear from you guys about what you think.” Apparently I rarely think the right thing or say the right comment. Apparently asking questions of the poster is a big no-no, too.

Oh, I get it; trolls could try these things as assault by sarcasm. But other people seem to get ignored, too. If another blue-check verification responds, then, sure, there’s a response, but that’s more of a DM, amiright? I actually have no clue, since I would give my left arm to engage in a conversation about topics I’m passionate about like I used to on platforms. Maybe this fear of trolls has turned folks who post content into silent instigators instead of moderators, but this seems to turn every post of content into…an advertisement.

They don’t really mean, “let me know what you guys think.” They don’t really mean “comment.” It’s cool, distant person…I’ll just like it. I’m not sure how much even sharing has an effect on other people that I pass the content on to…in those cases someone usually likes what I share on LinkedIn, but not so much everything else.

We’re back to the lack of social in social media.

I still “like” things, though; must be nice to see hundreds of thumbs up and hearts when you go back and check notifications, and I don’t mind that contribution. Maybe I’ll figure out the rest of the puzzle on my own. And when someone does respond? Well, that’s pure gold and completely treasured, without trying to take too much of the other person’s time, because I don’t want to pester.

Disappearing act, back into the top hat of the algorithm.

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#CommunicativePassion

Someone asked me once, in a situation of project survey research what my passions were.

Communication, I answered, and teaching. For me, the two dropped into the same slot, interchangeably; if you were a good communicator, you could teach the world through action, not just words, and if you were a good teacher, you could reach the world through your actions, not just your lessons.

But what of those who don’t communicate well? I find myself wondering how it is they make it across streets, cook meals, navigate interactions to keep themselves alive. How can those who are so bad at interaction even function?

This isn’t a judgment, mind you. It’s downright curiosity.

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The world, more and more is finding ways to look out through a technological lens. There is an app for iOS (and probably one for Android, I imagine) that you can download to text while you’re walking. The camera in the phone reveals what’s in front of you so that you don’t become lost in the words, like Google Glass, I’m told. Look at the world, but through a lens.

We’ve been doing that for years, I suppose; looking through travel destinations through cameras instead of experiencing them, swinging telescopes around to far-off planets or apartments to peep in. We watch television because of the pasteurized nature of what it delivers. Does this contribute to a lost art of communication? Texting is communicating, you might say, but if it’s happening at the same time as walking, driving, eating, listening…then is it communication? Or is it yet another pasteurization, hoping to filter what is really in front of us?

I think of that when I pick up my phone, sync it to the folding keyboard, and miss the birds lining back and forth from trees to nests, miss the moon on my morning walk, use the headphones to filter out the inarticulate conversation on the train.