Most of us are aware of how important communications, or intel, is and will be during an event that could impact our lives, whether it be world-wide or local.
There are many articles here on MSB pertaining to radios, phones, and receivers to help us keep in touch and provide us the communications needed for us to react to or monitor events around us.
But there’s another type of communication that doesn’t seem to get as much attention, and I wonder if we truly appreciate how important it is and could be to our survival.
I will use the term “Micro Communication” to describe the collection of face-to-face discussion of rumor, hearsay, personal observation, chit-chat, gut feeling, and other table-talk that at one time was communicated to each other around the breakfast, dinner, and supper tables.
However, societal habits have changed to the point that many of us don’t gather around the table to eat as much as we used to, if at all. It may be difficult to realize just how much “intel” we actually received around that table. On the surface, it was a collection of mostly insignificant bits of information that didn’t really seem important at all, but sometimes turned out to be more.
An example might be:
Wife: (Observation) “Those silly heifers were all down at the far end of the pasture this morning looking out through the fence at something, but I don’t know what.”
Husband: (Hearsay) “Our neighbor to the west said a guy told him that he’d seen what he thought could be lion tracks over on his place, but I haven’t heard anyone else say anything about lions in the area.”
While either the observation or the hearsay above could easily be dismissed as insignificant by themselves, together they could amount to something. At least more vigilance in watching for lion signs near the pasture would probably be prudent. And, until the chit-chat occurred, neither person was aware of the information that the other had.
Even if we spend most of our time together, we all still see and hear different things, and if we spend most of our daytime apart, we for sure have different intel. We need to have a way to share that insignificant intel that doesn’t warrant an immediate notification.
Keeping Up The Table-talk
My wife and I seldom eat at the supper table anymore, especially since we’re empty-nesters. It’s just her and I, and although we usually have supper together, it’s usually sitting in recliners watching the local news and weather on TV. The distraction of the TV hardly allows random thought and chit-chat. If you spend less time around the table like we do, is there some other activity that you can do to replace the table-talk?
That visiting activity needs to be something that happens daily (at least) for a short period of time with as few distractions as possible.
Riding in a car could provide the activity, if the radio is turned off and all of the other electronic devices are put away. Riding together in a vehicle can account for the biggest share of time many families or couples spend together in the same place at the same time these days, especially if they travel to work or school.
Gardening or tending to animals could be potential visiting activities, but those can have their distractions due to the common practice of dividing the various tasks up to get the job done as efficiently as possible, thus hampering face-to-face talk.
My wife and I stumbled onto a substitute for our missing table-talk when our electricity was out for 5 days in December 2015. Out of boredom, we hauled out the old Cribbage board and a deck of cards and re-taught ourselves how to play cribbage. We’ve been playing daily ever since. Some mornings there’s only time for a hand or two, but the game keeps well until we can get back to it later (except for when our kitten would pull the pegs out and play with them on the floor). There are plenty of times during the game (shuffle and deal) when the mind can be allowed to wonder a bit, and seemingly insignificant tidbits of information can be recalled and shared. Cribbage can be played about anytime day or night.
It’s not the Cribbage game itself that is important to us, it’s the time spent without distractions to visit like we need to do. We have a growing number of the electronic communication devices that most people have, and we talk to each other on them, but we hadn’t actually noticed that we had cut back so far on simply talking to each other face-to-face about the little things. Visiting about random thoughts and feelings not only keeps us up-to-date with each other, but it helps to keep a finger on the pulse of the world around us. Our very survival could depend on being able to talk to each other, and talk often. Are you talking face-to-face to those in your group enough?
– ‘CD in Oklahoma’
[Ken adds:] It’s a form of situational awareness. Face to face communications and ‘talk time together’ helps keep you aware of what’s going on around you…