Sunday, June 29, 2014

Invest A Dime

I have a lot of half-baked news which is probably best left in the oven for a while before I pull it out and offer it up.

Which is too bad, 'cause it's really fun to talk with you guys about things.

Instead I'm going to share my little revelation for the week, which is how important person-to-person talking is. E-mails and messaging have taken over as a form of contact, and for the most part I'm okay with communicating that way. But over time it does create a gap in relationships.The person behind the words fades. You can't hear them laugh, or feel the warmth of their voice. Even a hesitation gets lost in translation. So much of our emotional connection disappears when we move from in-person to over-phone. Phone to e-mail is another huge step away.

And then, oh yeah, texting.

The thing everyone uses their phone for.

Don't get me wrong. I love texting. But it's not the same thing as talking.

I bring this up because I had a really nice talk with my editor, Nancy, on Friday. We talked about all sorts of things, from our families to publishing to the upcoming Sammy Keyes party in Washington, and I hung up reminded that I really like her as a person. She is an awesome, extraordinary editor, but she's also a really wonderful person. Something that can be easily overshadowed by the manic shuffle of e-mails and publishing demands.

Nancy and I have 32 books together which is a pretty unusual accomplishment, especially in this day and age. From the outside ours is a pretty storied relationship, but as in any relationship, there have been times where things didn't go so smoothly. We've had frustrations and tears. We've had misunderstandings and pockets of uncertain silence. But we've eventually picked up the phone and talked things out. Or sat up half the night in a hotel room and talked things out. I think it's one of the big reasons we've made it through this many years and this many books together. I think it's the reason we're friends.

Our society has moved away from personal interactions in business. Conference calls substitute for meeting at conferences. Author Skype "visits" are now thought to be an acceptable substitutes for the author actually visiting. I get the financial aspect to this, but the results are not the same. Not even close.

So text and e-mail and message away, but remember to pick up the phone from time to time. The human brain is hardwired to respond to the frequencies of human speech, and when it comes to conveying emotion, nothing fully substitutes for that.

Wish you could hear my voice as I say Thanks for checking in--see you in the comments!


Kylie said...

I despise how much I rely on technology. I can go days without picking up my phone and texting my friends and a day without internet is manageable, I can possibly so two, day three hits me like a train, and then I am fine. But the actual convenicing i tell myself to not use the internet is where it really gets rocky. I feel like I need it. But I don't, I really don't. I just have a hard time tell myself that.

What is terrible about the whole taking vs. texting thing is that my friends would rather text me then call me because of convince. Since a text they can answer then walk away from and then come back and continue that but a call can't be walked away from (unless you are ignoring the person).

I am hope next year with my friends being sprinkled through out the country at their different colleges will be more open to a call or a skype conversation because I would rather see their face express emotion than their typed words.

Also love the picture above. Especially the shoes. Although when do I not love converse?

Any way, have a fantastic week everybody!


Gabrielle said...

Most kids my age can't get off of their phones, but I don't rely on it a lot.i I can't say much because I've never actually experienced not having my phone. I'd much rather talk to my friends in person or on video chat than text.

It's pretty sad how many people couldn't go a day without their phones or tablets. Like their completely obsessed with them.

I hope everyone has a great week!


Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Not a flattering picture of me, but the point is, how do you capture that in a text?

Ryan said...

Someday, I really need to get a cell phone so I know what it feels like to go without it for a few days. =) And this whole "texting" thing I've heard about sounds intriguing....

-- Ryan, the dinosaur

Selica Leone said...

On one hand, I might feel a little uncomfortable being so dependent on technology, but on the other hand, I flat out disagree that it's disgusting how much society relies on it.
For years I was too afraid of phone calls, skype calls, and interacting to even try, and if I didn't have an easier, more stress free way to socialize, I wouldn't have any friends. Without texts, facebook, skype messaging, ect, I would have no friends. I never would have met my boyfriend. I wouldn't have the support I have had to get through long long depressive years of my life. I'd be lonely and miserable. I might be dead as far as I know. My life would not be what it is today.
So for people who say it's 'terrible' that you 'despise' text messaging and how it's 'pretty sad' how reliant today's youth is, try and look at the other side. Try and look at a homeschooled, miserable, depressed, suicidal girl who had never known friends or companionship. Who has never known the ability to talk to people about her troubles, who has bottled up all her emotions and has no social skills. Remember that text messaging can help out people who are just learning to venture out of their comfort zones. Remember that technology can bring together best friends who never would have met other wise.
Just remember you aren't better than anyone because you don't use technology, and you aren't worse. A person's choice of how to interact does not mark them as better or worse than anyone, but judging others for their choices DOES.
Thank you if you've taken the time to read my two cents. I just feel I owe a lot of my life to the ability to get in touch with people in a way I'm comfortable with.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. I might be the worst texter in the entire universe. Seriously, I can end up responding to a message like a full week later, it gets that bad. I mean, I see the messages (sometimes), but I'm just so lazy, and I'd much rather have someone call me. There are also days I just have non-phone days and hide my phone (more like I throw it behind my bed or something so that I wont be tempted to look at it for the day because I'm too lazy to crawl underneath my bed and retrieve it). It's nice to have a break from technology sometimes. And to be honest, I wouldn't be mad at all if social media was suddenly obliterated from reality for all of eternity. Good riddace! Personal interactions are way better and more meaningful. Conversations can have so much more depth in person. Except I'm kind of awkward, so sometimes I sound way better when I write something out via text, and when I try explaining it in person it's just an awkward, broken story (because I'm socially awkward remember?). But that's just me. Still. I agree!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Selica (or, Miss Leone :-) ?) (Have you read Runaway??) Anyway, I'm sorry if my message wasn't clear. I'm not a techno phobe by any means. Most of us get caught up in messages, either business e-mails, or personal. I just realized this week the power of the voice. And, of course, all of us have different circumstances and personalities and issues. Sounds like technology has been a blessing in your life, so I judge that as being a good thing :-)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I can't believe how that old Turtles' song (Happy Together) has been running through my head since I typed in the subject of this post. Classic '60s pop. Go listen if you don't know it. Music is a pretty magical thing.

Selica Leone said...

I do agree that I like voice to voice contact preferably. It's more personal and I feel that the closer you are the more you get to know someone. You see their face, their smile, the funny way they tilt their head or the way they crinkle their nose when something that annoys them happens. You can hear the way their voice squeaks when they get excited.
But also, then, as an extreme introvert, I need a lot of energy to socialize, and at times when I want to talk to someone but don't have it in me to actually talk, texting is a god send.
And thirdly I wasn't actually annoyed with the main post as I was with some of the comments, probably just because I hear a lot of technophobic things said, which makes me upset.

But come on, without technology there would be no way to have any kind of contact with one of my favorite authors ever or to share opinions in this way. And that does say something too :)

Unknown said...

I actually prefer technological communication. It gives me a chance to step back and figure out what I'm going to say, how I'm going to say it, and so on. In an actual conversation, I end up retreating into myself or blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, which can be pretty embarrassing.

Yusa said...

I agree. I would much rather meet people and talk to them face to face because, lets face it... real memories are made in person and its hard to truly get to know someone over text. Thought some people are better than others in that case. I prefer talking in person than all other technological forms of communication but sometimes its hard and difficult to meet up with someone. I wish I was good with phones but I have this weird phobia with phones so I cant really do phone calls. I admit I would rather text in that case. But sometimes texting frustrates me with the little amount of meaning I try to get across in it. Even though phones dont work for me, for some reason Im perfectly fine with skype and I'll do that if I'm way to far to meet someone and texting loses meaning. I dont think social media and technology can replace face to face communication but sometimes it is useful because I have situations when I cant meet someone for a long period of time due to the distance between us. Its not the same but it is better than nothing.

I mean this blog gives you a sort of voice because you cant possible SPEAK to all of us all the time in person. This is a way to communicate until we all do get to meet you. (When is the fall tour schedule out?)

So yes.. if you have the choice it would be better to spend time with a person than text. But usually if i'm texting I dont have that choice. Anyways this is a very controversial topic isn't it? Haha


P.S. Well you could always try vlogging in which we could here your voice. Theres an idea.