This is an age of information technology where we are bombarded with different platforms of communication and information generation like social, print, and electronic media. It is a noticeable fact that all these mediums mainly facilitate the human attributes of expression and not reception (listening).
The current era is more pronounced in defining a person through his or her needs, demands and rights rather than responsibilities and duties.
Therefore, it is a general observation that people from diverse culture and traditions are more enthusiastic to voice their concerns and issues rather than listening to each other in social, political, and economic arenas.
While listening is extinguishing from the mainstream society of different cultures around the globe; the future age presumably would need specialists who are exclusively trained to listen to others with an intention of understanding, for example therapist, councillors, advisors, social workers and mental health specialists.
The problem of dysfunctional communication where both parties rely heavily on expression rather than on reception is multifactorial in nature.
The existing epoch is enhancing and highlighting impulsivity amongst people, prohibiting the ability to delay one’s gratification.
We mainly listen to shape our responses and not to understand others’ views.
A communication pattern devoid of listening is undeniably a prominent social consequence of internet-driven trends (google, chatting boards, gaming, and entertainment) which is influencing our relationships, problem-solving skills and thinking abilities day by day.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
Listening is the basic part of any interaction in the world. Listening sprouts from roots of tolerance, kindness, compassion, and non-judgment.
On close inspection, we would realize that we are running out of these human resources and characteristics. This age of expression is depleting our innate capacity to be empathetic by setting vanity and conceit-ridden norms.
Across the globe in different fields of career, communication is gaining mainstream’s recognition by day in and day out. It is mostly because communication is decreasing from all aspects of professional, personal, social, or political lives.
We have reached a point where external agencies are training us to build listening capacity to hear others with compassion and with nonjudgmental attitude.
In mystical and sufi notions and in folklore culture, most of the stories were designed and weaved together to facilitate the human attribute of listening. People used to love listening and interacting through the basis of what they receive from others. the diminishing trend of listening especially amongst teenagers and youngsters is quite disheartening.
“This is the problem with dealing with someone who is actually a good listener. They do not jump in on your sentences, saving you from actually finishing them, or talk over you, allowing what you do manage to get out to be lost or altered in transit. Instead, they wait, so you have to keep going.”
― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen