Attention: This piece may be best read in a private space, as I speak about the possible emotional experiences you may have had or be experiencing, in regards to communication with others.
Further, I write about what I currently believe, feel or think. The following ideas are all beliefs, feelings, and thoughts that I have accumulated in my mind over the years, from everyone and everything I have ever been in contact with. I do not believe that anything I apparently know is solely from me. Remember as you read that I could be wrong about everything I say, and I am okay with that. I am simply encouraging myself to raise my voice.
The dynamics of communication today are very different to those of my childhood, where paper phone book’s and wired telephone’s were like prized possessions. The phone book was the most valuable member of the bookcase, where it stored the names, phone numbers and addresses of everyone in the city. By knowing a person’s first and last name, as well as their phone number, I would be able to find out their address and vice versa. I see a privacy issue here, do you?
The dynamics of communication are not the only area that has changed since then. Today, people may have more privacy in regards to whom they tell their address to. However, we have less privacy in just about every other area of our lives, especially if you are sharing your life with people whom you may not truly know, via social media. What’s more, is that this sharing is locked in, as in, once you share something online, people can find it, even after it is deleted. In contrast, if I said something embarrasing or hurtful over the phone, it would be in the air and even though I could not take it back, I would only have one person to apologise to, and after apologising, the air would clear up pretty quickly…. hopefully.
Today, our conversations outside ourselves, especially via social media, can lead to many people being upset with us, putting us down, raising us up or causing some type of emotional reaction. These emotional reactions may or may not be detrimental to our health. Now, I know people experienced these emotional reactions in their lives before the bonds of our cellphones came into play. However, I feel as though the issue of lack of privacy and increased self-exposure has been emphasised in a whole new way, as the more people we express ourselves to, the more people we give the opportunity to judge us.
There is strength in numbers, in that, if many people express themselves in the same way towards you, you are more likely to believe them, especially after hearing the same words over and over in the long term. The worst part of strength in numbers, is when people are talking negatively about you and/or to you, or making you feel bad or upset about yourself. This may even lead to you feeling anxiety, depression and so much hurt that you may wonder if you are worthy of life at all. While the best part of strength in numbers, is when people are helping you build, or carry on building, your self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-care, making you feel like you can do anything, and you are worthy as a human, an equal in the world.
Do you realise how much more emotionally vulnerable we all are today than say 25 years ago? We place our lives, thoughts, feelings and our inner selves into the world, hoping and perhaps praying that people will accept us for what we send out, not exactly for who we truly are. Do you see how the dynamics have changed in communication? It’s not as easy as saying, “well, your lucky today, because when I was younger we didn’t have cellphones or the internet at our fingertips…” Is lucky the right word? Texting, emails, messenger, and other applications and devices which hold communication abilities, are all ways people could contact me. Even though I may not feel like talking to anyone, I know I need to when I start reaching for my phone …. with anxiety…. wondering if anyone has contacted me.
Have you ever felt anxious while awaiting a message, such as a text? Some people may not think about the response and feel no reason to await a message of any kind. However, I am thinking that most of us have awaited a message or contact with someone at some point in your lives. A child or other family member, friend, partner, and possible employment contacts, are all examples of people you may await a response from, for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps the difficulty lies when we are anticipating a response. Afterall, we have super fast ways to contact each other nowadays, so some may wonder why we are not recieving messages as quickly. The answer is that we are humans and not robots, although sometimes we may wonder. People are often busy, perhaps sometimes more busy in their minds than in any other way. People can feel unsure of what to say and may need to think about it for a while, or they could so busy they forget to message you back. There are many reasons for someone not contacting us back in the time we wish them to. However, I do understand that especially during a highly stressful moment, where you have contacted someone about something important to you, and are awaiting their reply, even seconds can feel like a life time. It is okay and natural to feel anxiety at any time. Perhaps you could think about why you feel the anxiety. Could you be worried about what the person you messaged has to say?
If you find yourself in a moment where your anxiety starts to rise, it is most likely that you need to express yourself in some way, in order to encourage a sense of peace during this time. Talking to someone else, or going out into the world and finding people to talk to, even small talk, can help the nerves calm down. Other ways to express yourself include, imperfectly fun: creative writing, drawing, dancing, going for a walk in the fresh air, cooking, baking, watching a movie, playing a video game (perhaps a peaceful one) or something you enjoy. In regards to watching a movie during high stress, movies do affect our emotions and physical response. Therefore, perhaps a funny movie is helpful if you are feeling down, sad, angry, or frustrated. In contrast, if you feel emotionally numb, perhaps a movie that makes you cry would be more helpful. The reason for this is that crying is a physical self-expression, in which allows your body, mind and soul a sense of freedom from emotional build up… or I could be wrong, but that is my experience
Another option to express yourself, is to have a conversation with someone whom you can talk to, while allowing you to work through your feelings and thoughts. During stressful times contacting someone can encourage a sense of self-expression that will hopefully prevent or manage any upset, panic, confusion or hardship you may be experiencing. All emotions, feelings and thoughts are okay. See if you can allow those thoughts to flow through your mind by allowing them to be heard by you. Sometimes thoughts and feelings are simply asking for your acknowledgment and awareness that they are there. Or perhaps they are ready to be released because you realise those thoughts are not true for you anymore, such as “I am not good enough”. Everyone is good enough, many people just need to be aware of that. Prevention of emotional build up is often best, so if you are feeling down and are not sure who to talk to, try calling or free texting one of the following numbers.
Depression Line NZ 0800 111 757 or free text 4202
Life Line NZ 0800 543 354 or free text 4357
Youthline NZ 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Speaking allowed can lower anxiety, stress, and that feeling of a lump in your throat, or that stomach mind – butterfly feeling, especially when your self expression is well received, or you are talking about experiences that make you feel happy. Remember that your privacy is important, because the more you give out, the more vulnerable you become, and that’s okay, but being aware of it can be helpful. Being aware of what goes on within yourself during communication and the absence of it, can help you understand yourself better. Learning about yourself through face-to-face communication , can encourage people to grow even more, emotionally stronger and more resilient over time. It can also help increase the resources, skills, and abilities you all already have available to you.
Anxiety and depression or enthusiasm and empowerment can definitely increase, due to our connection to our cellphone’s. It’s like the cellphone is our prized possession, it’s like a human we feel compelled to look to for support. Even though most messages come from people, we cannot see those people in front of us, and as we need to connect with something or someone as a form of subtle attachment, our cellphone becomes the door that may set our soul free or block it from freedom.
From what you are reading, it may seem that the connection to our phone today is similar to that of the wired telephone, 25 years ago. However, the difference is that we often did not rely on electronic devices to communicate overall. Instead, we would have reason to go out into the world, meet people and even spend a lot of time with the neighbours. So perhaps, 25 years ago, we were creating our worlds more externally, and nowadays we create our worlds more internally. Do you understand how this strong internal change of communication can lead us to being more emotionally vulnerable? This is different to war times as well, because often people lived internally, often without any self-expression. Today, we often live internally by electronic devices but still express ourselves in a way that appears we are not. Perhaps, this is where anxiety and other emotions, due to our vulnerable senses, come into play.
Face-to-face communication is often more valuable and meaningful than any other form. This may be due to human connection. Human connection through face-to-face communication to me, has many layers of learning, understanding and increasing our life experience, three fold. It is more powerful because of our emotions, feelings and thoughts, that are going on in one’s body, mind and soul, that another person can connect with, in a subconscious way (without both people being aware of it). Perhaps I am speaking about the sense of energy or you may call it, spirituality, that pieces everyone and everything together. If we believe that everything is energy, then we are not energy within ourselves, but universally connected. However, the only way to receive the most benefit from this connection is most often when we are communicating face-to-face.
Animals can connect to humans in unseen ways, that can make us feel a deeper connection to our intuitive forces. Often, when the animal is allowed to express itself and act the way it needs to, (with behavioural lessons perhaps), they can look into our eyes and make us believe in love at first sight (similar to the way we may feel when we see a baby). They could also make us believe, that our face to face communications and contact is so much more meaningful and powerful than any electronic message recieved. Yes, energetic connection can still be felt and understood no matter how far away a person is, even if that person is dead, perhaps, due to our inner connections to life. However, I know you know (or I hope you know) how special it is, to stand face-to-face with someone whom loves you unconditionally, wants you to enjoy your life, and be yourself, or perhaps supports and appreciates you. Face-to-face connection, especially through touch, such as hugging, hand shaking, and gently placing a hand on someone’s shoulder or arm (if a person feels comfortable with that), is important in creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle. We all (adults aswell) need closeness, nurture, and bonding, and face-to-face communication is a brave step toward these healthy and connected experiences.
As you continue your communication journey, remember that you will be affected, whether you know it or not, by the way you communicate. If you most usually contact people via electrical devices, you will most likely experience more of a bond with that device than any human. How does that sound to you? I hope that if you do not have supportive people in your life whom you can see face-to-face, that you go out in to the world, be brave, and start talking. During any communication, emotions will arise, it’s natural, but you may not feel comfortable, and that’s okay too. If you feel unsafe, perhaps walk away and find someone you do feel safe around. However, remember that there is a difference between anxiety and feeling truly unsafe, and of course you are the only one who can learn to tell the difference between them. The more you experience face-to-face communication, the more you will become aware of what you like, dislike, and want, when it comes to contact with people.
Communication today can be stressful, helpful, encouraging and so much more. Any type of communication can be helpful. However, the most benefit you will recieve is through the face-to-face kind, where you feel supported by the other person. Have fun communicating today.
PS. I hope this has been valuable to you, that you recognise my openness and hopefully appreciate my honesty, while allowing myself the chance to be vulnerable with you. Writing this has helped me understand myself and my beliefs even better. I appreciate you taking the time to read this!
Enjoy your week!