Originally posted on Medium! Alex Garrett on Medium
Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. It’s not just a saying anymore, it’s reality.
I can sense the multitude of extroverts out there are just waiting to say something to someone’s face. When you wear a mask, the essence of the conversation feels a lot different and you don’t actually see the facial reactions. I mean sure Zoom has also done it’s best to replicate family dinners, workplaces and even Happy Hour! Let’s face it, however, in person you won’t have internet re-starts. I almost wonder if attendance of improv classes will soar after this lock-down is over to boost our interpersonal skills.
So, have you been talking to people outside of Zoom? Literally outside in the fresh air? If so, kudos to you! While masks are muffling words, it’s also freeing us to still say hello to those around us! Maybe, just maybe , this social isolation can truly Make America Communicate Again!
See, in this big city of NYC, I started to notice people look straight down at their phone and be introverted 24/7. Did you notice that too? In your metro area, on the subways, no one really talked with each other and it would get frustrating. Personally, I disregarded not talking to strangers early on in my commuting years. After Yankee and Met games as a kid, I’d talk about the game we all just saw with anyone who’d listen on the subway. Now, it’s basically dirty looks central if you try and engage conversation. These same people that have their head down are probably talkative around their friends, but perhaps this will awaken EVERYONE. Perhaps, this stay-at-home will wake introverts and extroverts up to truly communicate clearer and with each other to make this world a better one through conversation!
Perhaps loss during this time could also inspire people to not lose touch. Life is a precious thing, and when we all suffer loss, we come together moreso than before. Social isolation has prevented us from truly saying goodbye to those we love who have perished in a hospital. It sucks! The silver lining, if any , could be that in this time of need and crisis we come together to support those who have lost, and work to avoid even further loss. We are fighting this virus in a sense simply by talking to each other and informing/inspiring all of us to carry on in the name of lost loved ones.
Conversation moves society forward. As my friend Zach Miller of Truck Stop NYC says, “Often it leads to creativity and camaraderie.” Sure, we can find that on Zoom and in-person, as writer Gabriella Pisani points out, “As long as you’re confident and comfortable in the material whether it’s in person or through technological means you’ll get your point across with no problem.”
Yet, perhaps this pandemic will change our attitudes toward needing to talk to one another. Maybe communicating can finally feel less like a chore and more like a love language towards friends and family and colleagues.
Pick up the phone, send that text, initiate that video call: let’s Make America Communicate Again!