I have just finished watching about four TED talks on the art of conversation. I wish I could have shared the links with you but I was watching the videos from Facebook not the TED application. The main point I would like to share with you from these videos is the necessity when we are communicating (in any form) of making ourselves vulnerable.
The reasons for being vulnerable, for putting yourself out there, are varied. They have to do with us living our lives happily and our development despite the interloper of technology. First, people who allow themselves to enjoy life, who don’t try to be in control of everything in their lives down to the last detail, they allow themselves vulnerability. They let themselves not be in control — to be hurt, to feel joyful, to feel pain, and to feel a full range of emotions despite the consequences.
It is important because one of our main purposes in life is to connect with other people. Only by not having control and just saying things to each other aloud even if we share too much information or allow a quirk to come through, shows our vulnerability. And we need to be vulnerable when talking and sharing with one another because it shows we are human and demonstrates to one another our true selves, someone we can’t help but reveal to our friends, coworkers, relatives and strangers.
But there is something we often use to control our vulnerability — our chance to really know one another and that is technology. As great as technology is, it often allows us too much control with one another. We can text because we don’t feel like talking to someone. We can email because it’s faster then having a conversation. And in each form of messaging one another we each get to choose exactly what we want to say without showing those little flaws we have that make us unique.
In a chat room or texting for instance, we can skip over parts of conversation we don’t want to answer easily. We can say only what we want to come across. We are not vulnerable anymore save for autocorrect and it takes a great deal of effort to see how a person really is because we can choose to disconnect parts of ourselves. We only share what we want, we are almost all perfect conversationalists in this online world.
Sadly though, despite connecting through chat, email, text messaging, and gaming many people are very isolated and alone. They are vulnerable in the wrong way. There is something to be said for facial expression, voice tone, pitch, and all of those parts that make up the spoken word that we seem to need but are not getting when we only connect virtually. Learning to be vulnerable and to talk with other people face to face also teaches us to be alone because we spend time considering how we will act and what we will say around other people.
We worry about how we will connect with other people as flawed beings. This teaches us to be okay with being alone because we are thinking and weighing things in our mind. In fact, we need the time to think. People who do not learn to be vulnerable and deal with other people are truly isolated despite technology. There is no way for them to interconnect and share the real them, their real personalities with actual people. They have to much control over life to little joy de vivre that they are in fact alone.
After, watching these TED talks and adding my own reflections it is my hope that you will not be afraid to let go of control in life, to feel all the emotions that can be felt. I hope you let yourself be vulnerable and are less controlled in your lives by IPhones and other devices. I hope you truly live and are never afraid to be alone because a busy mind needs time to think.