The lost art of communication

Kelly Novak

Last semester, without any notice, my suitemate began taking all of her kitchenware out of the kitchen. Thinking it had something to do with my affinity for not washing my dishes immediately, I thought she didn’t want me using her stuff. So, I went up to her and asked why there was a mass move of all her utensils. She then decided to inform me she was moving out. Three days later.

This semester, my other suitemate indicated nothing was wrong between us. Sure, there was a small amount of tension there, but nothing major that she needed to confront me about. I woke up this past weekend at 1 p.m. on Saturday, to find all of her belongings on the common room floor. Her parents had come up to help her completely move out.

No indication. No warning. She had brought the microwave, the toaster, the majority of the pots and pans, and the furniture. A heads-up in advance would be have been courteous so my other suitemates and I could replace these vital things, but we got nothing.

Unfortunately, this is becoming more commonplace everyday. No one talks to each other anymore. In the past, if something bothered you, you would merely confront that person and make that issue better. Instead, we all live in a world of passive aggression and emotions being swept under the rug.

It makes living with people or being friends with them impossible. Instead of talking about your feelings with the person that’s bothering you, you keep it to yourself. If you can’t keep it to yourself, you turn to someone else and talk badly about the person that is giving you problems. No one has the guts or the manners to discuss their emotions, which destroys these friendships and relationships.

Major life conversations have been transferred to texting and Facebook messaging. These applications that were meant for immediate contact about where to meet a friend for lunch or a question about a homework problem have now been used as the primary tool for some people to date or make friends.

A friend of mine had been consistently “seeing” a guy on the weekends for months, and therefore she became curious about where they were going. She asked him in person, but he quickly brushed it off. However, an hour later he sent a long, complicated text about how a relationship was just not for him. A TEXT MESSAGE, where it is impossible to detect a person’s tone, body language or even a sense of respect.

As a communications major, this lack of knowing when to do just that is appalling to me. Sure, journalism is a concentration based in writing, but I still know how to speak to people when it is warranted.

Our future generations won’t know how to excel in a job interview or ask out the boy or girl they like without using their cell phones, and that is a sad, sad thing.

Who knows? If each of my suitemates had confronted me and told me what was bothering them, maybe we could have fixed our problems. Maybe we could have avoided them feeling alone or alienated or whatever was bothering them (still don’t know to this day). However, they lived up to today’s stereotype that is not knowing how to put feelings into words, or just plain old choosing not to.

Though some people wish face-to-face contact would just go away, I hate to break it to you: It’s not. It’s the core of humanity. So I suggest you learn to speak to people and have those hard conversations.

It’ll make you a better, stronger person for it and probably a lot less rude.