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  • Writer's pictureJim Hostler

The Lost Art of Listening: How Technology Disconnects Us from Our Humanity

In the bustling landscape of today's technology-driven world, amidst the cacophony of notifications and updates, there is a subtle yet profound erosion of one of humanity's most fundamental attributes: the art of listening. We live in an era where connectivity is at our fingertips, yet true connection seems to elude us. People are knowing more about taking selfie's than about self. Why? Because we've become accustomed to hearing without truly listening, and in doing so, we've lost touch with our own humanity.


cardboard heat shaped candy box with headphones on it
listen from your heart wisdom

In conversations, both virtual and face-to-face, we often find ourselves merely waiting for our turn to speak, formulating our responses while the other person is still talking. We listen not with the intent to understand, but with the intent to reply. This reactionary approach stifles genuine communication and breeds misunderstanding.


But why does this happen? It's because we don't feel heard ourselves. In our fast-paced world, where everyone is vying for attention, we often struggle to find someone willing to lend us an ear. So, when we do have the chance to speak, we seize it with fervor, eager to assert our presence in a world that seems indifferent to our existence.


Yet, this cycle perpetuates itself. As we clamor to be heard, we inadvertently drown out the voices of others. We impose our opinions and views, shutting down any opportunity for meaningful dialogue. In doing so, we not only fail to understand others but also deprive ourselves of the richness that diverse perspectives offer.


Technology, for all its marvels, plays a significant role in this disconnect. Social media platforms, with their algorithms designed to echo our own beliefs and preferences, create echo chambers where dissenting voices are silenced. We curate our digital worlds to reflect our biases, further isolating ourselves from alternative viewpoints.


Moreover, the brevity of online communication—be it through tweets, posts, reels, or text messages—encourages surface-level interactions void of any depth of conversation. We reduce complex issues to soundbites, sacrificing depth for the sake of expediency. In doing so, we lose sight of the human stories behind the headlines, reducing individuals to mere avatars on a screen.


So, how do we reclaim the lost art of listening and reignite our humanity? It begins with a shift in mindset—a willingness to approach conversations with curiosity and wonder, rather than preconceived notions. Instead of reacting hastily, we must cultivate the patience to truly hear what others have to say, even if their perspectives challenge our own.


Empathy, too, is paramount. By putting ourselves in the shoes of others, we can begin to understand their experiences and motivations. Rather than seeking to impose our views, we should seek to build bridges of understanding, recognizing that diversity of thought enriches our collective wisdom.


Furthermore, we must be mindful of our digital consumption habits. While technology offers unprecedented connectivity, it also presents pitfalls that can hinder genuine connection. By consciously engaging with people even if they challenge our assumptions, truly listening broadens our horizons, and connects us, connects us at the level of our humanity.


In essence, the remedy to our collective disconnect lies in rekindling our capacity for empathy and fostering a culture of active listening. By transcending the confines of our own perspectives, we can forge deeper connections with one another and rediscover the humanity that unites us all. It's time to stop merely hearing and start truly listening—to others, and perhaps most importantly, to ourselves.

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