Notice? I took a semi-hiatus from digital communication the past year. In part, because I have several writing projects racing to the finish line, and in part, because I had an epiphany a year ago: face-to-face contact makes me feel good. Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online.
Not that I went completely dark: I still use my cell phone, and I do most of my research online. But I have scaled back from posting daily (to my agent’s chagrin), I call instead of text, I read a real hold-in-the-hand book instead of a digital screen. All have confirmed what I already suspected: texting, Facebook and blogging are not honest forms of communication. They have their place. But they’re not trustworthy.
As writers, the first lesson we must learn is how to elicit emotion from our written words. But authentic interaction demands voice tone and word inflection––and eyes.
Words are often mistaken as the best medium for expression, yet communication falls flat without the crutch of emotion. And emotion cannot depend on emojis, it hinges on sight and sound to reveal its truth.
Consider the phrase, “I love you.” Tossed around mindlessly at times, the truth behind the meaning is purely dependent on the tone of voice delivering the intention. Think of the many ways those words might be spoken. The degrees of love, defined.
So, I have scaled back my digital engagement in order to be more engaged with humanity, with nature, and with myself.
With eyes averted from personal digital devices, and I am reminded that human interaction at the visceral level, and nature itself, is integral as a transformative experience. No need for an online course, daily quotation, or word-of-the-day delivered to my email inbox.
Digital-free becomes a full-immersion experience without the the blindfold of virtual reality glasses. Glasses that may simulate, but will never replace, the “God-light” of early morning or late afternoon where the spirituality of the natural world is revealed.
And words delivered in person tell me the truth of a matter more surely than any missive read on the screen. Loving or bloody, they touch the emotion. They leave scars. And scars show us the color of our blood, the tone of our humanity, they teach us to be human, to handle our emotions, to show us emotion should be embraced by every fingertip. That we must dip ourselves into the blood, feel it’s warmth, and its energy.