Communication protocol

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“Do you have a blog?” I said.
He turned, looked at me in a way that showed his displeasure much more clearly than his smile did.
“A blog? Why?” he said.
“I find you interesting, and I’d have liked to listen to you talk, even after your tenure with us would have ended”
“But you are listening to me right now, aren’t you? And this is far better than anything virtual. I’m not a big fan of social media”
I felt offended; blogging, and social media?
“But it’s not social media! It’s a blog… it’s different!” I said.
“All right. How?”
“A blog is where you talk, and people listen; and if you’re lucky people respond. People who want to listen to you, are the only ones who do”
“But that’s not really a conversation, is it?” 

This conversation happened a week or so back. I had immediately thought about putting it on blog, but couldn’t quite get to it, until that is, something else happened: a trigger.

The trigger
There’s this thing we do, where we have to talk about stuff that could be improved. I always write stuff in response. I think there’s nothing better. But the sad thing is nobody asks any questions afterwards. No conversation happens. Well it did happen once, but I guess that’s about it.
As always, I wrote something on the page I received, something that wasn’t as sharp, and or witty, and or helpful, and or poetic, as I initially thought it was. That does not happen often. For a whole day, I was in distress. I even thought about apologising. That too does not happen often. Then, I slept over it, and the next morning I wrote something about happiness, and owning your stuff up. See there’s stuff you should apologise for; things you did wrong, but you should never ever have to apologise for your thoughts, your ideas.

The debrief
As I thought more, and more, I couldn’t help but relate it to the conversation I had earlier. And I realised what my teacher had meant. When we can’t actually look at the person we are talking to, we can’t really judge if the message is getting across; or if it has been lost somewhere in transition.

“Do you know almost ninety-percent of the conversation is non-verbal?” he said.
I wasn’t entirely sure about the percentage but I was pretty sure about the majority of it. I nodded.
“So, how do you expect me to have an actual conversation with you?”

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