Yesterday I received quite a dressing down for "not communicating" with a colleague with whom I am involved in a project. In part, this person stated that I "will not communicate" with them. In fact, while it is true I didn't want to talk with them at that moment, the greater reality is that I wasn't home and didn't get the message and respond as quickly as this person believed I should. After all, he had just called. Why didn't I call right back? Wasn't I really just "refusing to communicate?" Surely I was sitting by the phone and waiting for his call and then, in a quirk of fate, decided to worry him when I refused to answer the phone. Quite frankly, after such a little hissy fit, I am not inclined to communicate at all. However, I do see that the problem is more than his ego.
While I hate sentences that start this way, here we go.
I am old enough to remember no voice mail, email, instant messaging, answering machines, cell phones, or call waiting. And, guess what? Usually no one died if they couldn't get a response in 15 minutes. We called back, sent notes, or, if possible, dropped by, but we didn't throw a fit if we didn't have instant gratification.
Let me be clear.
Technology fails. Not all messages are received. Great are the mysteries of email and voice mail. Sometimes it just doesn't work.
Life is busy. I get to make my own priorities. You may not be the first thing on my list every day. Get over it.
I don't want to listen. More and more people want to listen to their own voice. I get to decide if I want to spend the next hour listening to your profound wisdom and life experiences.
Nothing to say. Yeppers. There are times when silence is all I want. Believe it or not, just because I can have someone with me in someway, there are times I just don't. Leave me alone when I feel this need.
The movie "Metropolis" has been running through my head since the said "dressing down." The principle theme of the movie is that technology takes humanity away; it does not enhance it. We become slave to the machine. Forgive me, but I don't want to play anymore. Unplug me, please.