The Sound of Silence in a Discussion We All Are Involved… Our Silence. (by Diego Fdez-Sevilla, PhD.)
You know what? Sometimes, I have nothing to say. And it is not easy to understand why.
In today’s time, our presence in the world (professionally and socially) is being measured through the use of tools designed to facilitate (to enhance? …) the expression of thoughts, to engage with other sources of expression and even, maybe, create communication. But at the same time, such strategy is playing many different subtle roles.
- Allowing transactions of goods is not communication.
- Writing down your thoughts is not communication.
- Criticising or liking pieces of information or postures taken by others is not communication.
That activity is publishing. And this activity generates an audience of followers. And that is feeding an audience but not communication.
A network is where there is not such a thing as an audience. Because all the members share equal interest in sharing their thoughts as to know the thoughts from others.
There are at least three scenarios which I sense driving behind the amount of “published expressions” being generated:
- The expression of something with pleasure as part of somebody’s personality.
- The expression of something just as a reaction towards something external.
- The expression of something forced by the situation, due to professional duties and responsibilities on a professional or a personal situation.
There are also at least three scenarios which drive silence:
- The reflection of a state of mind.
- The reaction as a state of shock against the “info” faced.
- Silence from repression since the situation demands it. Either because it is part of the professional duties or concerns the safety of our personal life.
Having such considerations there are some questions which become relevant when I look at every type of expression being published in all platforms.
When somebody does share something, is it part of communication or just advertising his/her presence to an audience?
And then, when there is silence, in a community of hundreds of members with the majority of them in constant silence, are they networking members or just an audience waiting to be fed, entertained?
So, how much of the activity being spread over all the media, social and professional media, colloquial, journalistic and scientific media, is just publishing and how much is communication?
This is a situation which takes all corners in our society, and it has many implications in the development of the collective mind. The collective mind which has maintained for millennia barriers in communication between cultures, spiritual beliefs and scientific advances (the last is worth of a future publication).
Sometimes having nothing to say it is as valuable or meaningless as of having something. There is a big difference between feeding an audience and fomenting the act of engaging in communication.
We choose the kind of community we want to be part of. We choose when we want to just be fed and entertained, when we just want for our presence to be noticed as well as when we want to show the difference from being something else than just we audience.
Are we publishers or communicators, audience or network?
Sometimes it feels like it would be impossible to have a minute of meaningful silence in the Internet, and yet there are hours, days of silent apathy from relevant and knowledgeable persons present in every corner of the net. Also as members of my own network at LinkedIn or coming by looking at some publications in this blog.
There is meaning behind every action and lack of it. There is reassuring silence, inquisitive silence and noisy silence. And then there is a type of silence which represents an empty space, free from external interferences, required to allow yourself to recognise what is yours from what has been implanted in you as yours. The way we think, what we think and when we think. What we express, the way how we express and why we express.
There has been a development in the meaning of “communication” through the new era of digitalization and media. New channels have been designed to facilitate interaction, and yet, somehow, those have overstimulated the sense of communication whilst overshadowing its functionality. It has allowed to increase the sense of awareness on the magnitude of the world around us and the capacity to interact with each other. And yet, in the rush of getting involved, it is being left behind one of the most important things inherent to communication besides expressing, transmitting or interacting, and that is understanding. We have the option to like or not like, share and express our feelings and ideas, and transmit and receive data and information in different forms. But at the end of the day, “communication” is “only” what builds “understanding“. Any other other form of interaction in today’s world should be renamed and reconsidered under its own terms.
You know what? Sometimes, we might “have nothing” to say, other times we might “have to say” nothing. At least make it meaningful, worth it.
And that´s what I have to say, publish or communicate, so far, to you, either audience or networking fellow.
A person who avoid uncomfortable questions is just Audience. A Journalist whom does not make uncomfortable questions is just a Presenter. A Politician whom does not take uncomfortable questions is just a Public Relations professional. Science that does not make, neither take, uncomfortable questions becomes just Data Management.