I was just thinking… Years ago, I told my daughter that she had two ears for one very good reason, to listen to what she was being told.
Quite easily, I manipulated the technical position of being the parent to instill my belief system into my child. Doesn’t mean I was correct, or as my experiences changed that I would self-adjust and change my perspective of the world. But most importantly, if I did change would I remember to tell her? Was there some automated tech system like HootSuite in place that would magically transfer my new point of view?
As we grew older, she became more flexible and I became more rigid. It seemed that my format had changed and I went from a JPEG to a PDF way of communication. This was a tremendous trade-off, as I was no longer morally required to show my good intentions by my actions.
In order for her to hear me, she would also have to hear her own inner voice. This created a major communication gap that we’re still trying to overcome. No matter how loud she yells, I sincerely hope that she herself. That she might know what she’s saying, because I’m going to defy logic and invoke my parental power, that is I disengage and stop listening.
Simply put, I’ve turned on my selective hearing and I’ve adjusted the volume knob to mute. And it’s a very methodical process, as I’ve been overwhelmed by social media lately and unable to understand how everything that I once cherished and held dear, is now being threatened by people I will never meet.
I’m reminded of when my daughter was a little girl, I’d tell her that the reason she was born with two working ears was so one ear could take information in, to be be processed by her brain- the grey matter between her ears- and the second ear would be an exit point for the excess, less useful information to be dumped out.
In my own defense, back then I worked two jobs, cooked all the family meals, did laundry and was a chauffer to pretty socially active kids. In direct proportion to my overworked, underpaid position in life… I had perfected a deaf ear, as my complaints were ignored, I lost my ability to have a sympathetic ear.
Fast forward to today’s hyper-connected culture, where people’s expectations are always on high and soaring. Where users are quick to retaliate against what they dislike, to mobilize their followers and block, boycott and shut down someone else’s means to a livelihood. From the safety of my couch, I’ve read what people are hearing on social platforms like Twitter, Instagram and FaceBook and it’s alarming.
So, I’ve decided to pull back a little. To reduce my daughter’s angst, because no one is immune to anxiety. I’ve also apologized in advance of my shortcomings, I’ve let her have the last word during our weekly arguments, which almost seem scheduled. Because somehow I know, that by letting her vent and rant, I’m establishing a strong sense of self.
Hopefully, she’s discovering her own truth. In a world that is still very much dog-eat-dog and I need her incisor teeth to stay sharp. Not that she might bite me, but that she’ll have a little bite left, in case she herself becomes a parent. And I manage to accomplish all of these things by thinking while she’s talking.
Like right now, I’m thinking while you’re reading this, that social media and the internet have given us a mighty big soapbox to shout our unsolicited opinions. People I’ll never know or meet are liking what I post and I know I shouldn’t care, but I do. There’s value in those clicks!
Yet, as comforted as we are by the likes and follows, none of it is accurate and we
To argue not for argument’s sake, but to allow ourselves the difference of opinions doesn’t make us enemies. That there is value in our words, as they allow us room to think, grow and move forward. Being persuasive by storytelling and finding possibility by compromising.
Now, as I wait for her to settle down, I realize that this isn’t an ongoing battle. I love her unconditionally. Eventually she’ll take the car and drive to the concert in Rhode Island with a carload of screaming silly girlfriends, but not today 🙂
I was just thinking… Sometimes Tweets are an immediate emotional response, that had the reader waited a few minutes, their response to the Tweet might have been less visceral. Emotions are rarely logical, more often than not they’re base and mean. These are my thoughts today..
Maybe, we all can get along, it just takes a little effort to hear what we believe needs to be said. In that way, Ms. Maya Angelou was right… “We are more alike, than we are different.”
What are you thinking?
Write back, let me know. I’m listening ~Tech Ears On~