As I’m sure it has to many of you, it has become blatantly obvious to me just how much our human-to-human communication has suffered at the hands of modern day technology and faceless contact. I’ve talked with my best friend Lu extensively about how little things like small talk are becoming harder and harder to participate in and that social situations have almost become awkward because people simply don’t know how to look each other in the eye and carry on a conversation. It’s concerns me a great deal actually. I myself have noticed my communication abilities dwindle as phone calls have replaced visits and then texting replaced phone calls, and now most things can be communicated via a global Facebook message or e-vite.
It’s no wonder aging business people find our generation so off-putting. It makes perfect sense that they find us incapable of showing respect and holding our own within a position and company. We are almost scared to speak up whether its in a business meeting or to simply state our needs, wants or opinions. Scared because we’ve almost forgotten how to speak objectively and maturely because those small phone screens make all of that possible without having to actually watch the other person’s reaction or think quickly on our feet.
I even witnessed my own father, a man who hates just about everything regarding modern day technology, experience a moment of surprise (and maybe a little frustration) when his finger hit the wrong send button and he placed a call rather than send his text. I never thought I would see the day.
After all of the things that have seemed to just fall into place for me lately, I’m starting to realize there is so much more to be said for talking to someone face-to-face and simply ASKING for what you want. We worry far too much about hurting someone’s feelings or being looked upon with disdain for seeking something that we desire for our personal benefit. Which I find intriguing and frustrating considering it clearly states in the constitution our right to pursue happiness. Why shouldn’t you ask for a promotion if you have been doing a great job and deserve it? Why shouldn’t you ask to be considered for a job you have been waiting and wanting to pursue? Why shouldn’t you request a work schedule that better fits your life and needs? Lately I’ve been told quite often, “Just ask!” And there is that age old saying, “…it can’t hurt”.
I simply asked for this writing position. I simply asked to work from home. I simply asked to be compensated for the benefits that I would no longer be receiving. I asked for my exit interview to be moved up so I could prepare for Cliz’s arrival and our 6:00 AM departure for Mexico. And thanks to some friendly conversation and a genuine smile, I didn’t have to ask for a new computer to do my new job with. However, I DID ask for a keyboard and was granted a brand new one AND a new mouse to go with it.
There is nothing wrong with thinking about yourself from time to time. And as far as I’m concerned, there is no harm in just asking.