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Interpersonal Links

May 12, 2010

When you live a professional life that involves a lot of travel and other intellectual engagement, it can be difficult to find the time necessary to generate some thoughtful commentary and worthwhile creative content for others to consume.  Well, at least it is for me.  When it comes to meaningful communication, a communicator must consider both their own purpose and the audience’s reaction to that communication.  Just as Garrison Keillor bemoans the decline of interpersonal flirtation, the same sadness could be applied to blogging that simply involves the link and lack of a personal touch.

People smarter than I have written about the difference in socialization of young men and young women: women wired to form close interpersonal relationships as a step toward romance, intimacy, a stable family life within a tight-knit support system, and men wired to beat other men senseless with clubs and seize the big butt of the wild swine carcass and thereby win the loyalty of the large-breasted, blue-eyed babe who is wired to mate with a winner, not a loser.

All of that is true, I’m sure, but I’m not looking at the big picture here, just the small daily aspects of life, which lend it savor and tunefulness and chewability. That includes free-form, rambling, open-hearted conversation. Sometimes you find it in bars, sometimes on airliners, sometimes after church, at coffee hour. It is fundamental to a sense of belonging in the world. Basic confidence begins here.

Indeed, so much of social media seems to be minimizing one’s role as the intermediary, for the sake of frictionless conductivity to the content that one cannot even take responsibility for.  While organization and editing and gatekeeping are all forms of creativity and content, something is lost or bypassed in the communicator-audience relationship when it’s just link-link-link.

On the other end of the communicative spectrum, even while he’s on tour, Conan doesn’t seem to have any problem applying his acerbic wit to fresh topics, but sometimes it feels as though the jokes themselves are unfortunately universally applicable and in that sense far less profound:

Well, I guess that’s why he’s Conan and was a perfect repetition of Carson.


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