By: Bill Martinez
ClashDaily Guest Contributor
Is it me? Or are things getting louder, and louder every day? Reminds me of the scene from I Love Lucy when she was trying to communicate with her Cuban in-laws. Interesting how her instinct was to speak louder almost shouting as if that would compensate for her not knowing a word of Spanish. Or, by almost shouting at them, they could understand English.
Perhaps there’s some similarity to today’s culture. Why is everything so darn loud? People with differing views somehow believe that he who speaks the loudest wins the debate. Who’s idea was that? Music has gotten louder. Musicians losing their hearing doesn’t seem to matter. And what about the audience?
I remember going to a Led Zeppelin concert at the Inglewood Forum in Los Angeles, CA back in the 70’s. I was on the radio in those days, and our station was one of the event sponsors. We were given great seats that we had to surrender because the music was SO LOUD, we had to find some respite outside of the venue. I couldn’t suffer the pain any longer and of course I wasn’t ready to surrender my hearing just to wait for Stairway to Heaven.
A Grammy award winning musician and dear friend said at concerts they keep it loud to hide their deficiencies and mistakes. Is this what we’re doing with all the loud shouting, hiding the deficiencies of our debate? We lose confidence, so we yell. In much the same way, that comedians get scared and start swearing. By the way, memo to comedians, the “F-word” is not funny or cute.
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Like a skilled musician artfully hitting every note, a drummer setting the groove, or a skilled communicator effectively wordsmithing his stories to inspire and challenge, this is what today’s culture is missing. It’s not to say, it’s ALL that way. It’s just that too much attention is being given to the LOUD at the expense of dignified and elevating communication that celebrates our humanness.
It’s clear this loud environment is blocking one of the most critical qualities of our humanity…communication. In this high-tech world of today, our spirits are crying out for connection and acknowledgement. John Naisbitt shared with us in Megatrends, published in 1982, that as technology increases, there would be a higher need for touch. He cited it as, “High Tech, High Touch.” Those companies and organizations who have understood this dynamic, I am discovering, are growing and are more relevant to their employees and customers.
Look at us, we are immersed in our technology. By some estimates, our kids (probably us as well) are spending near 10 hours per day in front of our devices and screens. While on vacation recently in beautiful Hawaii, I noticed a family sitting nearby not admiring the spectacular sunset, or even talking story (as they say on the island) with one another. Each was riveted to their cell phones. So on top of being loud, we’re now distracted more than ever. No wonder people are lonelier and more disconnected than ever.
Is it any wonder we’re seemingly getting colder and disconnected with our families and fellow sojourners of life. Is it disrespect, growing arrogance, lack of awareness, a who cares attitude or all the above?
So you tell me, is talking louder, ignoring and being ignored working for you? Or like me, are you starting to see yourself more isolated while being surrounded by more people on their individual journeys? We live life in phases and I for one can’t wait to get over this phase. As life and experience define preference, I prefer being connected even if it’s hard to communicate these days, but can we turn the volume down a bit?
Bill Martinez is an award winning marketing and broadcast journalist and host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Bill Martinez Live. Find out more at billmartinezlive.com.