There's so much in the media about how we connect with one another these days, or maybe, how much we don't.
Not so long ago I was away from home, attending a conference, and I went out for dinner by myself. I communicated with all my friends and family while I ate a delicious meal. I enjoyed the night. Last Saturday night, Rudolf and I went out to dinner. We enjoyed each other's company and chatted through the night. While we were there, I did my usual 'people watching' scan of the restaurant and couldn't help but notice a table of eight adjacent to us. All were on their phones. It seemed a little odd to see them sitting at the same table sharing their night with others not present. Seriously, the table was illuminated with blue light. Each person was glued to their screen.
Tonight I was listening to a commentary about relationships and a lament of the old, and arguably better, 'pre technology', 'pre social media' days. Are we loosing connection with each other, or are we just doing it in a different way?
I looked at my text message list for the day. If I disregard the business texts, I had a series of personal messages and what did I see?
In response to three general updates about 'nice to knows' I'd responded with a 👍.
I have one young person that does not like words. He knows that a fist pump is a good emotion. He'd texted me with something he was proud of and in substitute for 'I am proud' I'd sent a 🤜
I had a giggle at the next message:
Me: How you doing. I've been worried about you.
Client: Me two. Ive been stressed out. Call me.
Who, in response to a message that says someone is worried about you, responds with a 'me two' 🤣? There's nothing like ASD and theory of mind. I called after I received this one.
The one that caught my eye was a client communicating to Rudolf via me. He had a very significant meltdown the other night and the text I received from him was:
'I feel really calm. I been really good. Tell Rudolf I sorry'
Over the years this young man has developed a 'pull-push' relationship with Rudolf in absence of having a father figure. There's many a time that he pushes Rudolf away, but when he's feeling vulnerable, he pulls Rudolf in. This was an important message. I text back
'I'll tell Rudolf'
I know communication is changing and I know the way we relate to each other is different to the way it was in years gone by, but I genuinely think its just different. It's different than, not less than. Our kids who have all sorts of social communication skills delays and barriers are communicating and we get to communicate back. I remember a conversation with a young girl who was so overwhelmed with anxiety she couldn't get words out. We sat together, like those people at the table last Saturday night, and we texted each other. She could tell me her worries via her phone. To ask her to do this face to face would have been beyond her ability.
Looking at my Message List for today, I feel good. I feel care for and cared by. Isn't that what important relationships are all about, no matter how they are communicated?