Humans behind the screens – and the masks

The headlines are disturbing.

Owner closes Massachusetts ice cream shop rather than serve rude customers

Security guard shot and killed after telling customer to put on mask

Park ranger pushed into lake after telling crowd to social distance

Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten that these are all humans. For weeks, we saw other people mostly on screen or online. Now when we do see others face to face, they are (hopefully) behind masks.

Before the coronavirus crisis hit, we were already losing our ability to see other people as humans as we spent most of our time communicating with them virtually. Have we now become completely desensitized to the human connection?

Seriously, it’s ice cream. Has the virus taken such a toll on our ability to see others as real humans that we have taken to berating teenagers working in an ice cream shop?

Someone once said the pandemic has enhanced qualities that were already innate in people. If they were good people and always sought to help others before the virus, they are going out of their way to be kind to others now. If they were not so much then, they are even more not so much now.

Using words for good has to be more than just a nice phrase. Behind the screen, behind the mask, we are all still human. We need that human connection.

Now that everything is “no contact,” let’s make an extra effort to focus on the good words. Respect and empathy go a long way toward reconnecting. Whether it’s a video chat, a text message, or a conversation behind masks, take a deep breath and remember that your words do have power.

Use that power for good. We will get through this – as humans.

 

 

Now that you are communicating more often via email and video chats, do you need help with your words? Let’s talk!

Related articles

Are you using your words for good?

“We can each take the time to think about the words we are posting, to think about the real humans that will see and be affected by those words, before we hit the magical button that sends our words out into the world.”   Check out my Op-Ed piece, published in the News & Observer: […]

Learn More

When words fail us

When we don’t communicate well – or at all – it can lead to misinterpretion, mistakes, and sometimes serious consequences. When we are not careful about the words we use and they lead to negative results, we might find ourselves wanting to take them back. As the saying goes, you can’t put that toothpaste back […]

Learn More

The toothpaste story

Words are like toothpaste. Once out, they can never be squeezed back into the tube. That’s actually pretty much the whole story. Watch your words. Once they’re out, they’re out forever. Even if you think you’ve deleted them off social media, someone still has them, still remembers them. Even when you realize you’ve said the […]

Learn More