Chaturday is a new thing I’m doing. It’s partly to record the scribbles on the little post-it note flags I keep putting in the books I’m reading. And it’s partly because I love hearing what other people think about stuff.
Today, I was reading my (much beloved) Lily Brett book, and an essay about how we talk to each other now really got me thinking.
One of the things I love about some writers and commentators is the way they pepper their work with seemingly small details and observations. And Lily’s essay is partly about the fact that modern communication may not be terribly encouraging of that peppering.
Here’s part of what she wrote – the context of this bit is that people hardly ever TALK on the phone anymore, because we can text (which she loves too) and use online communication (she also loves that.)
To be clear, Lily’s not being critical. She’s just noticing important stuff.
Phone conversations don’t stay on a straight course. They can career straight into unexpected moments. Even for those of us who write relatively long emails, there is still little chance of wandering off on an inadvertently revealing tangent.
If you look at the transcript of a thirty-minute phone call, you would be shocked at how much gets said, how much is revealed, is understood and becomes evident. You can’t remove and delete an expression or a tone when you are talking on the phone. It is very hard to see behind a tidy line in an email or a message.
– Lily Brett : Talking : Only In New York
So what do you think about that?
How do you see over the tidy line of the people you care about, if they are being careful about what they ‘publish’?
And are we publishing rather than just expressing, a lot of the time?
And when we DO rantily or gingerly express, is it in such a public way (hello Facebook) that it’s sanctioned or critiqued, and thus discouraging and possibly even invalidating?
Do you miss the tangents, tone, twists and turns?
Are we missing out on the peppery little details, much of the time?
Do you talk on the phone, or avoid it? (I avoid it!)