FACE TO FACE ACROSS AMERICA
"Part of conversation is things that aren't words but still exchange meaning. Think of the beauty and simplicity in a hug, a handshake, a kiss on the cheek, humming and whistling and dancing together! I think it's our purpose to understand our place in our ecosystems and to connect with people in a way that is truly mutually beneficial. Love is what helps good things grow."
"While our people are not from here, when we see the land we say 'of course this is sacred'. So there's that physicality of connecting with the earth. Also, it is important to me to show visible solidarity instead of just being a nameless, faceless person in my home town. Being present is another way of saying 'I really do stand with you'."
"For me there is a need to be here physically. There is such a pull to be here from the heart and from the spirit. To do work and support, to stand with others. This work can't be done at home or behind a screen."
"I just got a phone two weeks ago. It's hard to hide anymore! I think calling for help is useful and important but spending all that time staring at a screen? No way I have time for that."
"The thing is, there are two sides to this country right now. What divides us is our lack of communication. We don't talk and so the divide grows."
"I feel lucky to have grown up before the digital age in the 80s. I saw the transformation. Technology is incredible, but I definitely appreciate conversation."
"I'm old and lucky that I don't have to use a phone. I think if you start using 'em too much you will find some loneliness inside yourself."
"I downgraded to a flip phone. I've seen too many of my homies get wrapped up in their phones. All that time lost and all that drama..."
"Listening is key. If you want to have a healthy marriage you better learn how to listen to your partner"
"Out here we haven't had service and we've definitely been talking more. Last night it was too early to go to bed and, because we didn't have service, we played games in our van. We made up a game called 'name that sound' and we laughed ourselves to sleep."
"When you do speak to others in person, you can get to a deep level and it usually leads to other conversations."
"Well if I don't talk to people how will I make new friends? God gave me a mouth and I'm going to use it!"
"Everybody matters. Some people have no one in the world and a simple smile or open door can turn their day around. Look up and you can see it."
"I was at a cabin with 8 friends down in Louisiana. I remember looking around and four out of the eight of us were muckin around on their phones. And I thought, cmon guys! There is nothing more important that the people right here."
"When you text someone you aren't really spending time with them, you aren't there."
"I'm not rich but I'm famous!"
"You don't have to worry about me, cuz I never turn this thing on!"
"Something you miss when you talk to people over text is a person's aura."
"We were built for conversation. It would be a shame to waste that."
"As a preacher, success depends on having face to face conversations everyday. And what I've found is that the best conversations are interruptions. Sometimes I'll get caught just before heading home or while I'm talking to someone else. The conversations that come from those interruptions always tend to be the most meaningful."
"I came up the hard way during the depression, but I enjoyed every bit of it. I grew up in Indiana with my parents and my grandparents lived with us too. I would not trade the world for what I learned from my grandparents. I learned more from them than I ever did in school. And people just don't seem to do that as much these days."
"We've gotten in such a habit of sitting there texting...Why don't we just dial the number and talk? That blows my mind. I think that's part of the reason why we are so separated. We aren't as close as we should be."
"When my son moved away, I decided I needed to get on board with texting because that's how he was going to communicate with me. I had no choice.
He would write 'lol' and I thought, 'I'm happy because I know he's happy.' My mind new that 'lol' was good, but my heart wanted to hear that laughter. He was in college laughing out loud but I couldn't really feel it."
"When you are not communicating face to face I think one of the main things you miss is the other persons eyes."
"There are nuances to language and communication that you just cant learn if your face is always buried in your phone"
"Nashville is a city where relationships are more important than ever. A connection is the most powerful thing you can have"
"Speaking face to face let's people know you are genuine about what you are saying. It helps you learn to speak fluently and not to be shy. Speaking face to face helps you earn respect and confidence."
"When you text, you can send a laughing emoji but you can't hear that unique sound or even if they are laughing. Thats how people are disconnected."
"Social media puts this wall between people. It acts as a middle man that takes out conversation."
"We have something to learn from each other."
"We were going from Vienna to Prague on the train. And there's this guy that sits across from me. His name was Frank. He spoke just a little English and I spoke a little Czech and we actually chatted for a large part of the journey. He told us he was retired with grandchildren. He described his hometown.
I remembered my conversation with Frank long after my trip.
I always tell people: go out and travel. Talk to people and you will find you have a lot more in common with someone than you don't.
Sometimes you will meet someone that changes your life. That's how I met my wife in a bar in Maine."
"I saw three kids texting the other day in Crosseville. All of them were looking down as they walked and I thought one of them is going to hit a telephone pole!"
"There are a million eyes and ears when you are on Facebook and you really can't get personal. At least the way you can when you are face to face with someone or writing a letter."
"Shoot, anybody's allowed to tell you anything and not be serious about it online. And your sitting there going, is this guy really serious? You get stuck not knowing how to take what is said."
"I've got this idea that one day at the same time everyone should just walk out to the end of their driveways and talk to each other. I had a neighbor in Kentucky that I never spoke with. He would come home, garage door opens, he goes in, garage door closed."
"My husband and I go out walking just to talk to people. I can't go by someone without saying 'hey there! Nice shirt, nice shorts!"
"My friends started to text message and I asked, 'why don't you just come and talk to me?' When they text, they don't have to look at you. It's a frightening thing. A lot of people these days don't look at your eyes when you're talking to them. I do."
"We've forgotten about solitude. We've forgotten about quiet time. People always ask me why I go up in the mountains alone. 'Aren't you afraid of snakes?', they ask. I say, 'no, God's right there with me'. These days everyone's on their phones texting and whatever and are never alone. Never quiet."
"I heard the other day that the average American looks at there phone over 200 times per day! And research is finding that when parents are doing that there are serious consequences for infants who rely on that face to face interaction at an early age to bond."
"You know technology has a time and a place, but I'm old school. I'm not afraid to write a letter!"
"There are more things you and another person have in common than things that set you apart. They're not always right there on the surface, but they are there. And it takes a conversation to find them."
"Everyone is all plugged in to their computers and cellphones texting and no families are uniting and doing stuff together and just talking...Even just your communication with God. I hate to say it, but you used to plug in more to Him and he is a God that wants to do life with you, but if you're so tuned out, you can't experience the joy that He has for you."
"It's almost handicapping people...There is something about communicating with others, the energy that we pass between us that is lost when texting."
"People don't write lists anymore...My momma used to make us write a list when we went to the store. Now you gotta wait for people on their phones."
"What's one face-to-face interaction you will never forget?"
"There was a gentleman dying of cancer and he used to talk to me about the Lord. One day I remember seeing him in tears and I said, 'I want what that man has'. I credit him with influencing me to sober my thoughts in the sense of how drunk I was in the world."
"You've got to listen to people. You've got to figure why they are successful, how they got where they are, what they believe in and what they do. That's part of life as you go on. The main thing is to look, to listen and be interested."
"I think people these days are too connected to their phones. Now, that's just my opinion. I don't have a cell phone- I did away with it years ago... I have a business and people don't know how I make it, but I make it."
"We were all made for presence. I could help someone over the phone, but it doesn't really hold as much weight as when I'm face to face. We were made for presence, made to be in relationships with people and we were made to be known. As scary as that may seem."
"We used to be self sufficient but now this country is only worried about the short term. And if it's not careful it's gonna kill itself."