On Being a Modern Gentleman:

Guideline 22: Visit (with friends and neighbors)

Yesterday, I wrote that a gentleman should use the phone for actual conversations, in order to develop stronger relationships and to develop better communication skills. Today, I want you to put the phone away and go see someone.

I was talking with a friend yesterday, and he and I became nostalgic. He told me that he had recently had a conversation with a student and had explained that “back in the day” before cells and email if someone didn’t answer their landline, you would go to their house if you needed them. The student was incredulous. My friend explained to the kid that he used to bike 10-12 miles to certain friends’ houses just to see if they were there. More incredulity followed.

My point? It seems like convenience rules society. Personal relationships aren’t formed with others (at least, not as strongly) due to over-reliance on impersonal, digital means of communication. How many times in the past few weeks have you gone over to a friend’s house or a neighbor’s just to chat and say hi? I don’t believe I need to expound upon the benefits of face-to-face communication; you all are smart. Instead, I want to exhort you: go visit with others. Take time to develop strong, personal relationships with those around you, and please, don’t conduct all of your friendships and business with others digitally. Face-to-face communication shouldn’t become an anachronism.


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