Tuesday, November 25, 2008

cry w/out weepng, tlk w/out speakng, scream w/out raisng yR voice

it occurred to me today that i have not used my voice much, yet. this is despite the fact that within the first 3 hours of being awake i Skype messaged with a friend in england, responded to about 6 emails, initiated 4 other emails, text messaged my husband, wrote a note to our daughter's teacher in her communication book for school, and typed a letter to AirCanada miles program. i communicated to/with over 20 individuals without saying a word.

this is the daily reality of living partially in the virtual world where vocal expression is one of the available, but not necessarily the main, channels for sociality and expression. i have also found myself considering my non-vocal exchanges as talk; for example i might say "when we last spoke..." in reference to a text message exchange, or "i thought you said..." in connection with an email interaction.

speaking a thought is a far less mediated enterprise than writing a thought. especially if you don't think too deeply before opening your mouth (like me). far less opportunity for editing and reflection - quasi-instantaneous. writing provides the opportunity/pitfall of speaking in your head first before unleashing the thought unto others. for different people to talk without speaking offers a form of comfort. several participants in my dissertation research expressed discomfort with phone conversations (mobile and fixed line) versus text or IM, especially young men. even face-to-face interaction appeared to be easier for them since the physical body and environment offer forms of mediation that the empty stillness in a phone-line cannot.

thus, i cracked my knuckles to clear my voice and talked without speaking for much of today. still i had a lot to say, and many heard me. and i am quite happy with that. plus, i am sure i'll make up for lost audio when the next unsuspecting person calls or runs into me later in the grocery.

it's just that the U2 song came to mind today; are we running to stand still? i don't think so, neither do any of the young people in my survey, but then we are techno-optimists...

L8R, R
(ne1 can undRst if th will is thR, wEel an cm Agn)