In today’s world, we are more likely to communicate via text, Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram than to communicate face-to-face. It is “easier” to shoot someone a text than to have an actual conversation, because heaven forbid they talk to you longer than you planned on talking to them. What it comes down to is that our new modes of communication are encouraging two things: an attitude of avoiding issues and attention seeking behavior.
People post on Facebook, “feeling sad,” but don’t actually say what is wrong, nor do they want to talk about it with the world. People then respond, “sending hugs,” or, “so sorry you are sad.” While it is not bad to say you are sad, nor is it wrong to want to encourage people. The issue is that people are trying to get sympathy, or attention, and are crying out for help in all the wrong places. They can vent and say things that they would never say face-to-face with no emotion attached to it, because they know that it is ridiculous, or unnecessary. Posting attention-seeking posts is like going to the center of town and shouting that you are upset and feeling neglected.
When it comes to communication, we have been dehumanized. We contact and respond to people when it is convenient for us, yet ignore people when we don’t want to deal with them, or don’t have the time. It seems contradictory that we don’t have time to call people, but we have time to check out all our social sites, multiple times a day. Parents are communicating via text with their kids because “that is the way they communicate these days.” But shouldn’t we be teaching them how to properly communicate? The art of letter writing is almost gone, because people think it takes too long, or that they “don’t have anything to say.”
At Trinity Teen Solutions, we teach our clients the power of communication. They won’t have access to social media websites or cell phones. On their weekly phone calls, they are coached on how to express what they are thinking and feeling. They are faced with the reality that relationships and communication take work. Therapeutic letters that may not be sent are written, because sometimes one needs to express their emotions, somehow, even if they are not sent to anybody at all! Letters written weekly teach teen girls the power of communication. On top of that, the excitement when they get a letter, or their disappointment when family members do not respond, teaches them different lessons about communication. How does one handle the disappointment of not getting a response? How do you appropriately express that frustration in a letter back to that person? These are both life lessons that are lived through at Trinity. The clients learn that instant gratification is not as satisfying in the long run, because when you work hard and look back at your growth, you realize that you can do something that you were convinced you could never do.
When we teach the girls at Trinity about communication, we are teaching them that it takes practice, and that people are worth your time. We show them how to appropriately communicate and put effort into relationships that they want in their lives. Our culture is teaching our teenagers instant gratification and self-satisfying behavior, but we can battle these at Trinity by teaching our clients that, through hard work and patience, you can have even better results over time, and that communication is rewarding because of the time and effort put into it…