Life in the information age

Guest Post by Ponts'o Mokone

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

I learnt that in this life, we may listen, yet not hear a thing. We tend to listen to respond instead of listening to understand. There’s a difference between having a conversation and communicating. The latter requires much more focus and understanding.

Another problem related to listening is when we are more concerned about our own words than we are with the other person’s words. Have you ever been talking to someone and found that rather than listening to them you are busy thinking about what you are going to say next? Have you ever felt that someone else was not listening to you for the same reason?

This kind of thing happens all the time and we call it “conversation.” It may be conversation, but it is not communication because no one is listening. There is no exchange of information with confirmed mutual understanding.

Part of the art of listening is learning to give the other person our full attention, taking a genuine interest in what he or she has to say with an honest desire to understand. If communication is our goal, we need to focus more on the other person’s words, ideas, and values than on our own.

Nothing in the world blesses a person like having someone listen—really listen—to him or her with understanding and respond with clarity.

Now with the growing generation, things are worse. Talk about being deaf because of headphones. The up-rise of lifestyle diseases is our new normal and it’s crippling to know that it’s not going to change but get worse instead.
I was once a victim of ear infection. Cause – headphones.

More often than not, as individuals, we assume things on behalf of other people. Sometimes we see a person quiet and think “perhaps they are sad or angry and so on.”

Ever thought of ” little me time?” Or should I say “a moment of peace and silence?”

Technology has very much robbed us of our livelihood. We cannot have a nice dinner without so often as glancing at our mobile phone to see if there’s no WhatsApp text. We cannot have a rich caring conversation with our loved ones without being distracted by TV. I’m not saying TV is bad, it is good, but only to a certain degree.

I remember one time I was having lunch with a friend I hadn’t seen in 3 years. There I was stupidly thinking that our lunch would be time to catch up, you know, share our experiences, update each other on our progress. Silly me!

She kept on interrupting our conversation with God knows what, little giggles here and there. I would often say a lot of things only to be faced with “Huh?” ” You were saying? “And in the end I realized, we won’t get anywhere. I stood up and faked emergency and left.

I realized that living in the now, is not so easy anymore unless our phones are not with us. I wasn’t even angry with her, but rather I had a deep understanding of what was going on.

Most people upon waking up in the morning, the first thing they do is open their smartphones, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, you name them.

It’s like we are addicted , yet we don’t even see that.

I do love social media, but not on my special mornings and evenings which I rather love spending with my bestest of friends (literally speaking).

Between a healthy home cooked meal and a lunch from a restaurant, one would rather opt for the latter. We cannot so much as get 5 feet away from our homes without being engulfed by something in the streets.

We get to be triplets, twins, quadruplets, without so much as being born at the same time.

Just because we live on borrowed time doesn’t mean we should also live on borrowed thoughts, looks, actions, etc.
Yet, we don’t see that.

Most people would rather go for treatment rather than cure. Pure brainwashing. We would rather go for instant gratification rather than long term benefits.

How many of us spare some time to exercise? Not many.

A person may claim not having time to do important stuff , yet always find time to watch movies, be on social media, gossip, etc.

We are here, yet not present. We are so much attached to our phones that we sometimes feel like our phone is ringing while it’s not.

How many of us can spend a day or a week without our smart phones? Very few.
That tells us something.