Ah, the One-to-One and Face-to-Face Mindset!

I certainly feel old fashioned.

I like the blogs and micro blogs and function fully with all modern devices of communication, but I realize I cannot write how I write one-to-one, or speak how I speak one to one, a lot of which we used to do it earlier. There is so much of charm surrounding letters and face-to-face talks. Where have they all gone?

If my words are different when I relate impersonally, my thoughts and feelings must be correspondingly different, too.

I still meet people I like very much just because of the persons they are, or because working with them  is an enjoyable experience.

But things do not stick as they did, because everything is so fluid. Everyone texts, the calls are quick and hurried, the conferences are virtual.

How does one relate then? When I studied, I read one expert on interpersonal relations. He said, ‘The person who can’t listen, can’t relate.’

But now I find myself in an age when it is no longer about one’s ability to listen. If I want to listen, where are the people to whom I will listen? Of course, I listen the voices from across the devices. But that’s such a poor, malnutritioned content. Where is the listening to the flicker of the brow? Where is the listening to one’s presence? Where is the diving into one’s world through a letter of two pages? Where is responding to that presence?

How can intuition bless the bond without these? How would the relationships develop roots? Or be concrete?

I think the relationships have retracted themselves from between two people to the heads of two people – floating and flickering: Now it’s there, now it is not there. Its appearance and otherwise depends on convenience and coordinates, and not co-creation. But when co-creation is reduced to a fraction of time and when non-face-to-face content is shorted by the screen of the mobile phones, we deny knowing the whole person and dish out a fantasy, an unreal thing that exists only in the head and cannot be realized fully – just like two people claiming to be dance partners when they dance on different floors, to different tunes, at different times.

I surely have some learning to do, because texting is here to stay. But, what do we do with the old fashioned way of developing comradeship? We can’t even put it in a museum…


4 thoughts on “Ah, the One-to-One and Face-to-Face Mindset!

  1. A first visit to your blog through FB. It takes time to read such thoughtful views and introspection but it is worth reading.



  2. B B Gupta says:

    100 million years of earth’s life is replete with examples of species that survived and flourished – by mutating – deep rooted changes brought out by adaptation. Species stuck in past now have a honourable place in British museum. Moving toward goal in changing landscape is the only way forward, avoiding pitfalls and dangers. There is another way, change to a planet with favourable conditions.


    • margieparikh says:

      Hi bbgupta,

      You are right – and I see your point. The lament, however, is not about the inevitability of change – it is about the persisting nostalgia. The environmental changes, variation and the natural selection you mentioned happened very slowly over hundreds of years. Our adaptation also will take time even if we agree to change. Additionally, the natural selection sometimes does not provide option. But the social environment? We do have a choice: relate with fewer, but face-to-face? Relate virtual and not miss the real? Relate selectively, and both? Those are the questions to ponder..


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