UNITED STATES—The ability to communicate is a skill that so many people fail to grasp its importance. I really want to have a conversation about the notion of communication because it seems like Americas are communicating less and less each day. I mean the advancement of technology is a major thorn in this development. Making the situation worse is when you have two parents in the household who are always working; kids to a degree are raising themselves.

Let’s be honest, when was the last time you had a family dinner? A true family dinner involves everyone in the household sitting down and eating at the exact same time. I know I don’t do that, we all eat in separate rooms or places. However, growing up it was something my mother forced us to do. We had to sit down and actually eat as a family, and actually have conversations about the day. I mean we see this on occasion in the cinematic universe, but it’s not a reality. It’s almost like we’re afraid to have conversations with family members out of fear of being judged.

I know so many people who always want to talk about work, and for me that is the last thing I want to discuss. For most people, they hate their jobs, and I’m not a believer that if you talk about something it makes it better. This is not to say keep it bottled in, but festering on that negative energy, just produces more negative energy in my opinion. Now tell me exactly why would I want that? Um, I don’t. However, you know things are bad in your household, when people don’t greet one another when they enter and exit the house you have a problem.

It’s like you’re walking past a ghost; one who doesn’t want to talk and worse, if you talk about it, it raises a bit of ire. That is not a good sign America. We’ve turned to our computers, our mobile phones and our tablets to communicate. I’ve seen people in the SAME HOUSEHOLD literally call someone’s phone or send a TEXT instead of walking to another room to ask a person a question. I’m baffled by such behavior; it’s like why talk to someone when you can simply just TEXT them. This brings me to my dynamic with my siblings, as I have several and we’ve all reached that point where we have our own families and are simply living our lives.

I hadn’t realized that it had been nearly a year since I had seen my oldest sister in the flesh. Yes, I felt terribly bad about the situation because that was the first time that has transpired in for as long as I can recall. We’ve chatted over the phone tons of times in the past year, and yes while we live on two different sides of town, that still isn’t an excuse for why we shouldn’t be in communication.

Let me be clear this has NOTHING to do with wanting something; yes I do indeed have siblings that I only hear from when they actually want something from me, which annoys me slightly. However, just the notion of grabbing lunch, dinner or just catching up on what is going on in each other’s orbit is important. When you are communicating more with complete strangers, friends and co-workers more than your actual blood, you have a problem. It’s not like I’m saying write a 3-page letter and send via postal mail. I’m saying stop the texting, pick up the phone and have an actual conversation or even better, get out of the house and actually visit a close relative or immediate family member and TALK TO THEM!

You don’t want to fall into that pitfall like my father and mother’s side of the family where the only time we gather is when we are planning a funeral. That is NOTHING to be happy about because it simply reiterates what has been spinning in your head for years. Take action to build stronger bonds before it’s too late.