Have you ever tried making plans with people close to you and ending up with…well not ending up with anything?
Well I did, many times. Just as now, I sit in a bar 1.5 hours overdue for a meeting that was fore-planed but ignored by many. It is not really the part of people not showing up that is disturbing, but the ignorance that we do not even try to tell it in advance that we won’t bother. ‘Cuz, why should we? Someone else will definitely go and also we are not obliged to answer, right?
5 years ago we already had smartphones, but at that time when we received news from someone we actually read it, understood it and made plans accordingly (or we clearly didn’t make one). The only thing that changed is that we got accustomed to the fact that information is always available to us, right on time and it is up to our grace which does we consider to be worthy of our attention.
But wait! Not getting the information we want just cannot be the case. You have to be part of the loop. But the responsibilities what comes with the information is so time-consuming and honestly, it doesn’t hurt anybody if we leave the door open. We might just as well make it, so why say no now. But if we don’t answer, it wouldn’t technically be a yes, so we can retain the right to protest if someone would be holding us accountable.
With our deep desire for information, we surround ourselves with many channels (indirectly with people), so we stay up to date, but that human interaction at some point will become annoying, so we will tend to ignore messages coming from people, even if we are being looked after for.
So we will use different channels (apps) to distinguish between people and communication, so we can still read the message in the drop-down notification or gracefully “seen” it, but rarely react to questions, because that would expose us and force us to decide. However, subsequently, we confuse ourselves with the so many channels and our unlimited desire for information that we get in lost in our self-built labyrinth. We arrive at the point that we don’t want to ignore everyone, but essential as a consequence it happens.
Today’s generation is deeply connected with each other. Constantly messaging and keeping touch while leaving the smallest opportunity to actually bond. Being flooded with information we are aware of our possibilities and we well know that if we make a decision we might just as well cut away ourselves from a better opportunity.
So we like to keep the door open…
Thus, the contemporary art of no is born, as at the end of the day you have only seen messages but because of our lack of response and engagement, you won’t even bother. Seriously, let’s ask ourselves when was the last time someone just silently observed a planning method, and then without any prior notice, just showed up?
…but at the end we just watch the door is closed before we could reach out for the handle to either go in or close it.
PS: The reading should only serve as a bookmark of a long, tiring and frustrating day which of course I didn’t finish at the aforementioned bar.