When we interact with each other in dialogues, we can do so through a variety of channels. If you’ve studied communication theory or linguistics you might have come across this word “channels”:
- I could reach you by simply producing a text (by giving you a written account of what I think), and if you read this text perhaps that’s going to deliver the meaning I want you to understand (to receive). OR
- I could do the same in a spoken format (as I am doing right now), when I trust that by hearing this (and by following the additional written notes), you can make sense of what I’m saying. I suppose that would also bring home the message. OR
- I could add another element (a video or a photo) which would introduce a visual aspect, perhaps even a drawing with 2 people engaged in a dialogue, with various arrows being emitted from the person speaking to the person listening, from the person writing to the person reading, from the person moving in some ways to the other person who can see (sign language, anybody?).
Now, the receiver may feel abused every time it seems superfluous to have certain other elements
Did you really have to say “you know” every 10 seconds or so?
Perhaps the audio channel is sufficient in terms of delivering the message, but if I had used the visual channel, the same message could’ve been delivered in half the time.
The usage of a more efficient means of communication would save you (=the receiver) time, but it would take more of my time to produce that particular video to reduce the time required to understand the message.
I am not a native English speaker and I do not have the kind of effectiveness you might expect from somebody who is presenting his ideas in such a public fashion.
It would be great if you could entertain the idea that I have some meanings which I would like to deliver to you, even if I do not have the skills to present these meanings in a more economic fashion.
I am trying to be more economic in the way I make use of your time (and my own time, of course), but whenever I’m considering this from the dialogue point of view, I’m considering you as an equal:
We are equal in this dialogue.
I cannot give as much of my time as I would like at the present moment, though I hope to be able to dedicate much more in the future. Right now it’s coming out as an individual enterprise that is so far being managed in my spare time.
How about your spare time? How do you contribute to this? By listening (of course), or by providing me with some other form of your time-resource, which would allow me to put in more time or to be more effective (if you give me feedback or advice), or by donating some money if you can afford it.
The time that we are given to spend freely (or to sell to other people) is very limited.
Why? Because we need to do a lot of things; I’m not talking only about work, I’m talking about all the things that you need to attend to in terms of your (real or imagined) bodily needs: eating, washing, sleeping, shaving, putting on makeup, brushing your teeth, cleaning your room, etc.
Let us not ignore the fact that I’m taking your time, but (at the same time) I’m giving you my time.
It’s hopefully a fair exchange at this point.