Blog of Sara Jakša

Needs in Communication

I have finally deleted my Facebook account. I have only created it, because it was the main communication channel for my cognitive science studies. And then there was always another reason, why I did not deleted, usually because this was the one way to communicate with one or two people. But now I have decided to screw everything and deleted it.

Instead, I prefer to simply meet people in person. This has been this way since the end of the primary school when the email and MSN Messenger has become popular with people in my school. I never really liked using it, and I stopped bothering when a friend of mine told me, that my personality changed when using it.

In reality, I have never experienced communication through these medium as more positive than face-to-face communication. At first I though it was because of the content and quality. There are many place on the internet, that has the chat room problem. But eventually I figured out that this can only be part of the explanation. The best readings on the internet were about on the same level than the average conversation.

Even if I only take the content that is not on social media, but on the websites owned by people (check IndieWeb, if you want to know more), the feeling was better than social media, but worse then real life.

This can also be seen in the other things. I feel better, after reading a book for two hours, then reading the internet articles for two hours. In the first place, I feel like I either enjoyed the story or actually learned something new or started to think differently about something. And it happens almost every single time. On the internet, this feeling is a lot less frequent and in majority of cases. Is it because I am choosing the books myself, instead of the algorithms? Or it is because I can be more focused on the ideas and go deeper into them? I actually don't know.

On the other hand, I am still writing this blog, and I do still sometimes read blogs. Unlike the social media, which I get bored in 5 minutes of spending time on them (which is why I ended up deleting the last one). But now thinking about it, maybe I should start changing this as well. But some of the things I am interested in - like minimalism - it is hard to find the books for here in Slovenia. And if I want to order them from abroad, then I need to find out about them from somewhere. I maybe I am way too much of a thinker instead of a doer, but even that is slowly changing to a more doing direction. And eventually, I will not need a constant support of other people's ideas - or at least not that much.

Plus, most of the blogs of people that I know and follow don't actually publish much. So even if I would check once-per-month, I still would not get a lot of reading material.

Because the personality did not give me the definitive answer either. I though that maybe the low extroversion, low agreeableness and maybe high openness could explain that. As low extroverted person, I don't get as many positive emotions out of the social status. So there is less emotional reaction on likes and readers, as least in theory. Which makes me worried for all the people, that feel this more acutely than me. And low agreeableness make me less interested in people than acreage, and most of the content there was what people were doing. And maybe openness wanted something more unusual? I don't know.

On a little sidetrack, most studies done in the first years of social media showed, that openness predicted the activity of people. So the higher the openness, the more likely they were active on social media. Now I have a hypothesis, that the trend is changing. That people with more openness are the ones more likely to leave it behind.

Then I have recently started going into the non-violent communication. One of the important concepts there was to understand and then express one own needs, without expectation that they must be addressed. But here is the problem, I am using other people as sort of exploration of the opportunity space, so I am not sure what my needs are in this case. Or maybe my need is to be pushed to do something more? But then, I also enjoy conversations, where I don't get to express it.

This reminds me of a exercise, that we needed to do in the university. I remember writing, that I am afraid of asking people for things, because I was afraid, they will say yes, without wanting to. This might be a consequence of reading to many marketing and selling books before university. Inside of them, they hammer on the point, that people generally don't like saying no. This is why I really like being in the company of people, that I can trust will tell me to go fuck myself, when they have enough of me.

But that still leaves me with the problem of what need am I addressing with face to face communication, that is not addressed with the other forms of communication? Is it simply that we evolved to be social? Do I prefer the synchronicity of it? Do I want to feel heard? What do I want from it? I don't think it is safety, or being heard or respect. But knowing what it is not does not make it easier to realize what it is.

Which might be a reason, why I have problem with directing the social energy intentionally. Since I can't conceptualize what I really want from it. I just know, that whatever it is, I can't get it from the internet or SMS-ing or anything other similar, and these things should just stay for information sharing.