At times I’d like to take an idea and be able to hand it to someone, just like an object. Here you go, this is it. It would be complete and intact with all necessary images, nuances, emotions, factions, outcomes – everything in place as intended. It can be tedious stringing out words trying to describe a concept. People are often pushing you to get to the point, interjecting ideas, asking questions, or making assumptions before you’re finished. Now don’t get me wrong, I love dialogue and discussion. But at times, trying to express an idea seems to lessen the actual subjective experience of having the idea. Similar to sharing a dream, it doesn’t carry the same impact and is just not the same when you explain the event to someone else.
Considering this in tech terms, a PDF file would seem be a good solution. PDF stands for “Portable Document Format.” PDF is a multiplatform file developed by Adobe Systems that captures document text, fonts, images, graphs, hyperlinks, and even formatting of a document from a variety of applications. You can email a PDF document and it will look the same on any computer screen as you had created it. It uses security features that help prevent people from accessing, copying, editing, or printing PDF documents. So no intrusions, everything is delivered as it was intended – the smooth exchange of ideas and information.
As I thought more about this, I realized that many conversations are really PDF communications. Communication that is formatted and locked. This includes a kind of formatted and locked listening, as well. Many times, we hear what we want to hear, and often only the words and not the true message. Then there is the nonverbal PDF communication – the formatted smile, the looped-in laugh. Again, it is a smooth exchange of ideas and information, but not a real interaction.
In exploring this idea further, I realized that I have PDF communications with myself within inner dialogues. There are ideas, perspectives, vulnerabilities, and values transferred from floppy discs that I’m rehashing and reciting. Imagine that. Seriously. I’m assuming I can find the password to access my PDF files so I can edit and refresh - a much needed inner action. I’ll definitely be more aware of PDF files going forward.
The search is on. Join me.
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