It is no secret that the world is becoming a noisy place. I’m not just talking the real world. I’m also talking about the hyperreal world. The hyperreal world is connected by the internet and lived on social platforms.
We are bombarded by opinions, videos, advertisements, and pictures like never before. Although the technology has enhanced our abilities to be heard, it may actually be doing the opposite. Studies show that the people who actually utilize social platforms and digital media often feel the loneliest.
This may be because we actually derive most of our meaning in conversations with others from non-verbal cues. Facial expressions, hand movements, and proximity to others you communicate with are just a few of the cues we use to understand others. Unfortunately, text messages, pictures, and other forms of communication utilized through social and digital media aren’t able to capture or deliver our messages with the same quality as face to face communication.
The problem is everybody is trying to get attention, everyone wants to be heard. Because everyone is trying to be heard and we are living more in the hyperreal world, the only way to stand out and get anyone’s attention is to listen.
Most of us believe we are good listeners, yet, listening is actually a skill. It actually takes practice to be a good or active listener. Most of us are too busy trying to make a comment before we even process what the other person has said. Even in the hyperreal world we have substituted listening by hitting a like but to appease a friend or just because our other friends have liked something
We do this without even reading or listening to the entire post or communication.
In fact, the vast majority of people utilizing social media hardly interact in any meaningful way if they interact at all. This leaves the active participants feeling lonely when their post are barely responded to even though most of their friends never respond to anything.
Here are a few tips to help you become a better and active listener.
Prepare to listen, by eliminating any distractions in your environment
Relax and focus on the person you are listening to without prepare what you are going to say next.
Clarify and or paraphrase what you just heard from the other person
If you are on the internet, write out an actual comment when you like something, instead of just hitting a like button, an emoticon, or not responding at all.
It would be more beneficial for you if I thoroughly explained these steps however, you probably didn’t prepare yourself, you are probably too busy to relax and read for more than 3 minutes, I won’t be around for you to clarify the message, and the overwhelming majority of readers aren’t in the habit of responding to any post.
Maybe I am wrong
Maybe you are one of the few who understands that you have 2 ears to listen twice as much as you speak
Maybe you want to stand out from the crowd
Maybe you want to stand out from the noise
Maybe you actually want to LISTEN!