Tone of voice

contributes significantly to conversation and communication. So does body-language, inflection, gestures and, most of all, the presence of another person. This is the down-side of blogging. All of these things have to be supplied. I supply them for the blogs I read; and you are doing it right now.

Now, a couple of observations: for all the talk about how “community” is now emerging into digital realms…it seems to me that, for all the benefits of blogs like this and others, there is a fundamental built-in limitation: the all-pervasive and essential human element. No matter how you cut it, we are still typing at each other instead of talking. The dynamic is much the same as it was when we sent folded paper letters in envelopes, or when we faxed, or or or… You get the point. The human element can only come through to a certain extent even in the best of digital, online blogger realms. Another observation, or rather, a question: are we any better off for it? Really, are we?

It seems the technology (cliche alert) is indeed driving us apart. Who knows how many people are nightly, by themselves, typing a conversation into a computer monitor, like me, (or reading one, like you) and in the process something is lost.

Hopefully in the midst of all this fantastic technology we will not surrender that which makes community community: people. Online IM, chatting, blogs, email, whatever, are poor substitutes for the real thing. Were you to hear my tone of voice, which you can’t, (you have to supply it remember)you would have heard it rise a little, with a touch of angst and a furled brow for good measure. Got the picture in your head? I think I’ve made my point.

On that note, greetings to all those of you with whom I have shared many a conversation, and to those of you I have yet to have coffee you,

Grace and peace (typed for now, one day face-to-face).

And so to bed.


2 thoughts on “Tone of voice

  1. Well said Mac. I’ve only been hooked on a few blogs, yours being one of them, and they belong to those with whome I’ve shared conversations like this one around a campfire, coffee table, or on the road in Utah. That said, I’m more than thankful that I can hear your voice and thoughts from where I am now, 7500 miles away in Uganda. I’m thankful for the community we’re still sharing.

  2. I agree. I think these techno forms of communications are part of a continued minimalist appraoch to community. It is a way to squeeze in, at our convenience, an attempt at commnity. I wonder if we will ever recover the most essential element for community – beyond the human one – time. to just “be” with each other. I certainly miss this.

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