Okay. So I was listening to Neon Trees’ “Everybody Talks” the other day and that made me reconsider a recent conversation I had with a friend. In that conversation my bud told me about his teenage son and how much easier it is to date nowadays.
Being curious, I asked “why?”
He responded by asking me what I remembered as being the hardest part of dating as a teenager.
After my pregnant pause he telegraphed the answer to me; “silence.”
Silence I though: What does that mean?
My friend went on to explain that “in the old days” when you called the girl on the phone for the first time it was nerve-racking because often there was silence between bits of conversation. According to my cohort, that was “awkward.”
He then added that with today’s “technology” that awkwardness has been avoided because “today” you can do it by text and therefore, you can avoid those quiet moments. In other words, no more “silence” on the phone. How wonderful.
Anyway, my response?
I told my friend that this made as much sense as waiting in the theater lobby until there is 5 minutes left in the movie to go in. Why would you skip entire life experiences, good or bad. Although awkward (yes), uncomfortable (yes) and maybe even intimidating (yes), isn’t that how young people learn how to relate to one another and deal with relationships, I thought.
So when the Trees broke into their catchy pop tune I thought we are actually going the opposite way. And yes, Bruce had it right too when he sought out a “human touch” a couple years back. So, to embrace “texting” or technology in place of real human contact is upsetting to me.
Not all communication is by word as most musicians know.
Nothing replaces good old fashioned “talking” whether it be by phone or face to face. To think that parts of our society can do so is only going to lead to a further communication breakdown as per Led Zeppelin.
So start asking yourself when did watching a YouTube video replace seeing a live show?
As musicians I feel we understand how to communicate—really communicate. After all, we speak through our lyrics, body movements, fashion, and instruments. We communicate to others who can feel and understand our emotions and attitudes that permeate through our music which is a different mode of communication than a traditional give and take conversation. It is special. Thus, I believe we can help lead the way to retard the further erosion of human interaction and I suggest we start now.
Hopefully, in 10 years Neon Tress won’t reissue their pop hit substituting “texts” for “talks.” If you disagree send me an email. I’ll get back to you in 3 months.