Monday, June 12, 2017

Selective Hearing


Image result for Listening cartoonCommunication has become big business, especially with the current Presidential / Russian / leaks / FBI / Hillary issues, the media is a buzz with every conceivable scenario possible. It’s interesting how Trump started by centering his campaign on the issue of Fake News and now with the culmination of the Comey hearings it seems as though most of what we hear or read about is based on speculation and innuendo.  With the shear weight of the information overload the truth may never be recognized.

I have been known to hyperbolize, (and yes I know that’s not a recognized word, but since I’ve used it before I can use it again) exaggerate and overuse the literary licenses of sorts to make a point or push an idea but for the most part what I write about has some basis in research. I also understand that most of what I say is opinion based and can be construed or interpreted in a thousand different ways but that’s the nature of the blog world.

I make no apologies for what I blog about or about the conclusions that are derived from my peculiar view of the world. It is my way of communicating, my way of voicing my opinions and my point of view. It may be cathartic and it may have some meaning, but who cares and more importantly what is the point, if no one reads what is written?

I guess I could stop right there, turn off my computer and walk away but if no one cares, and no one is reading no one will know if I’m blogging or not. No one will wonder what I’ve said, what I’ve proposed or what changes could be instituted had they read, (Wow, I’m assuming a lot). The question that is raised, however, is not who should do the talking or blogging but how do we, any of us, get heard and understood?

My blogging universe is only slightly larger than the small area I call my backyard, (I do have a view, if that helps) but words do matter; the words we use is only a portion of the communication process. Blogging provides an outlet, not unlike the newspapers within a small town, not many readers and mostly fluff. But the blogging world has a potential reach of billions, there are currently 149 million blogs on the web. Many of those are singular experiences and feelings, some are knowledge based, some are political and some just weird, maybe like mine, but they are still part of the communication process.

WordPress estimates that Over 409 million people view more than 23.7 billion pages each month, that is a lot of speaking and a lot of reading. Users produce about 83.1 million new posts and 44.5 million new comments each month. Blogging works, but is it working like it should?

When two people talk it is assumed that while one is speaking the other is listening, that is the essence of communication. Listening is then ½ of the communication process. How many of us are that active in the listening process? We like to talk. We like to yell, scream and blog and it’s great when your only responsibility is saying what you want to say. No feedback, no response, no reply needed. Replies would only ruin the blogging process.

I am one who truly loves the interchange, the dialogue and debate of issues, opinions and ideas and I am disappointed when the responses are few and far between. My ideas, in fact all ideas are only as good as they are accepted and scrutinized. Opinions are worthless if not heard and then acted upon in some fashion but the bloggisphere, to most, fails in that regard.

Most bloggers never come close to communicating or want the open exchange required to make blogging more than just a cathartic exercise of convenience. Most readers don’t have the time to answer, engage in debate or participate to create a communicative process, but the numbers of 23 billion pages viewed shows there is a desire to read the 83 million new posts. The problem, as I see it, is in how we interpret the numbers provided by Word Press. There are 44 million new comments, that’s slightly more than a response to half of all the new posts, but those posts could be anything from a simple pic to a lengthy blog (like mine).

Humans have always (my opinion) been more interested in talking then in listening. Parents talk to their kids, kids talk back to their parents. Husbands talk to their wives and wives talk about other things to their husbands, no one really listens. Even when we read the words of another, we only read and at times digest what was written but rarely do we respond for the purpose of communicating.

Communicating means listening in concert with what is being said to assist the other toward a union of those presented ideas, thoughts, feelings and understandings. I’ve never liked just being told to do something, even if it’s in my best interest. When we strive to engage and understand communication begins.

What we have now are polarized groups that lecture and accuse, abuse and insult all who disagree with their singular positions. They proclaim but refrain from living within the terms they demand of others. Most it seems, are too afraid to allow others to freely voice their opinions and when others do they reply with a vitriolic vehemence far exceeding their own importance.

What we need is a more open discourse that accepts the good ideas, the wholesome practices and the moral attitudes of others who do not fear change but embrace the positive, the beautiful and the noble while defending against the immoral, the evil and the corrupt.

I can hope, I can dream, I can even write my opinion about what I think should happen. I never said it was practical or possible, but it sure would be nice to live in a world where all men (and of course all women too) were free to think and grow, advance our culture and raise our children in safety and prosperity...Now I’m just being silly, but what does it matter, no one reads these blogs anyway.