Communication, an Art Form on the Way to Being Forgotten

Esther Zoza

Incommunication

HAVANA TIMES – Communication is key if you want to have a good quality of life. We all need to communicate, we are social beings, but you need two people to be able to hold a conversation.

Picking up a conversation with a stranger in Havana is nowadays an otherworldly experience. People are always in a bad mood when they walk about, with a stern look.

I can attest to the fact that communication can be a one-way street among friends, partners and even relatives.

There are people who have forgotten that the art of really listening loses its meaning if there isn’t a balance between the two people conversing. Today, it’s all too common for one person in a conversation to be interrupted unexpectedly, without giving the other person the chance to speak.

I have few friends, even though I have many friendships. I’m not an expert in holding a fluid conversation, but a lot of the time, when I run into someone, I normally ask how they’re doing after the normal greetings that civility dictates. The conversation should then flow in the obvious direction, but sometimes this isn’t the case; the person in question only speaks about themselves the whole time and refuses to listen to their conversational partner.

It goes without saying that I got wound up the first time I found myself in this situation, but I’ve slowly come to realize that this practice has also spread to phone calls.

What’s going on? After talking to friends, neighbors and one or two relatives, I discovered that this isn’t an isolated event like I would like it to be and it doesn’t only happen in casual encounters or phone calls.

Important people in our lives are beginning to be infected with the virus of non-communication and a lack of empathy.  This new wave of people who only listen to themselves, which has nothing to do with the excessive use of technology, threatens to take over Havana. The harm this results in is a great cause for concern. The uncontrollable verbal diarrhea that suffocates the other person who is trying to communicate and needs to exchange ideas, knowledge or stories about their life.

It’s true that life in our country is a brave fight for survival, that our problems never seem to end, but stopping someone else from communicating, belittling them, making them invisible is an alarming attitude. Adults are a reference for children, their example, the first place they learn, and I would say that the quality of life of children and young people is at risk because of this “trend”.

Esther Zoza

I was born in the 60s. I love my country and its simple and sacrificed people. I like the arts, particularly literature. In music I enjoy traditional and contemporary trova, also opera and instrumental music. I respect all religions. I like esoteric and mystical subjects; I also enjoy the enigmas of the universe. I believe above all things in God. I am persistent and disciplined to meet my goals. I like the countryside. I live near the sea. I believe in relationships and love in all its manifestations.



2 thoughts on “Communication, an Art Form on the Way to Being Forgotten

  • I totally agree with your analysis of lack of communication and lack of empathy in today’s society. Speaking from a Canadian perspective, I have to also agree with your comments on the impact of technology on communication, specifically electronic devices. In the past, pre-electronic devices, one entered a room of people whether in a doctor’s office, an employer’s lunch room, a school cafeteria, etc. it was very easy to strike up a conversation with someone about any subject two people wanted to talk, discuss, debate, etc. Today, walk into the same arenas and there is total silence as everyone is glued heads down to their electronic devices whether they be tablets or phones. No conversation takes place. As the potential interlocutor this situation is very disturbing. Not that the potential communicators who are totally occupied by their electronic devices are being uncivil or rude, but they are so captured by the technology they are slaves to their devices. And, this scary phenomenon is occurring not only where you are witnessing in Havana but in Canada and I suspect across the world. What is even more frightful is our young children raised with an electronic device in their hands at a very early age and using it constantly and to your point not communicating, not exchanging ideas, not laughing together, not telling stories, not learning how to engage communicatively with others . . . all the things that make us humans is vanishing. Sad. As you appropriately end your article, adults need to show an example to our young people that the quality of their communication lives must thrive and not be captured by modern, unhealthy, “trends”.

    Reply
  • Ester,

    You in Cuba and Stephen in Canada have pretty much summed up the sad state of human communications. It is similar or worse here in South Florida and likely the rest of the USA. And, I suspect there is no turning back. Cuba had a chance until the government allowed cell phones to gain a foothold.

    Reply

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