5 Aug 2015

Communication Breakdown: Talk or Type?

erwin blumenfeld image for vogue

Talk or type?

Do you call or do you message?

The way of communication has changed in the last few years and I have taken for granted this subtle shift in the way we approach talking to each other.

Before, we called.

We called to chat, we called to arrange appointments and we even called to complain. Now many of us report our lives by email, text or instant message. I do.

Life is programmed with the touch of a key and our fingertips are the conduits that make it all happen.

In Provence there is a whole load of chat.

We don’t message, we sometimes email, but around here it is all about the face to face. It is refreshing and it has made me aware of how dependant I am on my gadgets to spread the word.

Is it because there is more time to spend talking in the old fashioned way?

Yes, there is a whole lot more time. Provence has a very special and unique time clock. No rush, no pressure. C’est la vie.

It is not all about time restraints. I believe the reason we communicate via message is because we can; a technical evolution that has become habitual. As communication methods have become more sophisticated we have learned how to adapt and use them to our advantage.

In Provence we still plan and shop old school. We call the plumber and the electrician and we pay accounts by cheque rather than bank transfer. Slowly the system changes and with that comes less one-to-one and less contact.

There is so much to be gained with a personal approach. Taking the time to talk in person and making that call means the depth of engagement is more. Lately, I have found myself picking up the phone in preference to writing an email or sending a What’s App message.

I call that progress.

For once, pushing backwards feels as if I am moving forwards. That is not to say the ease of communication is not a brilliant way to stay connected with friends and family. Living far away from those we love is made that much happier with an extra text or email, but picking up the phone, hearing that familiar “hello” is ten, no a million times better.

There is simple solution – a little more of both. xv


i was inspired by the erwin blumfield image above

Sheath Like

***classiques entier belted sheath  // ellen tracy belted sheath  // betsey johnson ruched pont sheath

image erwin blumfield for vogue 1954

VA In Your Inbox

subscribe for updates from vickiarcher.com

In This Post:



Anita Rivera

First of all, that gorgeous vintage photo is stunning. And believe it or not, I remember having a phone just like the green one in our home when I was very small; I was afraid to answer it!

Vicki, you are such a thinker and excellent communicator of the current trends, and more. I have often talked about this very topic with my husband who also agrees that with the good advancements we’ve made, there are some losses, and that is the one-on-one experience with another human being. Where do I even begin to talk about how friendships have adjusted or rather, CHANGED because of technology. There was a time when we could just drop in on a friend at their home, and there was no strangeness about it. Then it changed to having to call each other to PLAN a visit. Now, you email to say, “When can we get together?” But what’s happening now is that no one even has time to come over for a cup of tea. We have grown accustomed to being satisfied with a quick email in the middle of the night to keep connected.

I recently observed a very strange phenomenon. Gossip is part of the human chain of communication – always has been, always will. But gossip in real life is one thing, but gossip on- line is even more destructive because the victim or others involved in the chatter muddle things up even worse to a colossal degree of misunderstanding. Where there is no human face to “face” up front, the damage is even worse and very difficult to untangle into the truth of the matter.

I agree with you. Merging our technology with the human heart of listening, understanding and HOSPITALITY in the old-fashion sense is the only way we are going to survive this thing we call “progress.”



Thank you…
I could have said so much more but I thought I had better rein in my thoughts… as I am always chatting online with everyone!! It’s not by choice… if I could snap my fingers and meet everybody I would be in heaven!

Online tittle tattle is awful and fortunately, here, we have never had and don’t have readers like that. I am always sayng to my family that my readers are the most amazing, interesting and intelligent people… No time for negativity… and that’s what we love :)

I am grateful to “progress” though… How could we chat otherwise… ;)

Anita Rivera

AGREED! No time for negativity, but all the time in the world to plant seeds of goodness, love and kindness. I just came back from a lovely walk in the neighborhood, thinking, talking to myself, and YOU came into my mind. I am so grateful for your intelligence, style and CLASS, attributes that have opened up this channel of discussion (and fabulous inspiration on fashion!)

Once again Vicki, you have inspired a new blog post from me. For my next post in the beginning of September, I am going to do something different, to address this very matter, but hopefully in a pithy, uplifting, prose-poem sort of way, and it will have a French flavor to it. Let’s see if I can pull it off. AND I will mention you, my inspiration for this thought.

Be well and enjoy this glorious day. OH! I’m having haricots verts for dinner tonight! XOXOX


I look forward to seeing your post Anita… and thank you..
I am off for another pummelling and more French chat!
Haricots for me too… :)

Anita Rivera

Dear Vicki! Have a great “pummeling” today, enjoy those haricots (mine will be seasoned in garlic and huile d’olive!) and I am back to let you know I will be coming via email to ask you a question.

Lovely knowing you! Anita


Don’t you find that true feelings and meanings can get lost in written messages sometimes. It leaves us thinking as we read a text ‘what did they mean by that’. It makes speaking directly to someone more valuable, you hear the tone, listen to the curly-ques in the conversation. That is called added value. And yet, I have to admit, there are some conversations that I insist on having in writing so it can be kept tight, documented and controlled.
For many reasons I’d love to live in Provence, today you gave me another one.


It is hard to express the exact sentiments we would like to in written form… I often feel I don’t say exactly what I would like, especially if I am trying to be humorous or tongue in cheek… I admire those who can really do that well.

I also agree that some situations do need to be recorded… I guess the answer is to find the balance :)


It seems that the more technology advances, the less civilized we become. I have noticed that many young people have no clue about the subtle communication that only takes place in person to person contacts. Dating has become a shambles for many young women: group “non-dates” and no strings hookups have become the norm. All of this is precipitated by text messaging. It’s made men lazy. Let’s not even talk about the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving…
We have become a chronically distracted society- staring endlessly at one screen or another.

On the other hand, I do suppose that this generation has become adept a deciphering the nuances of text messaging and device addiction. I suppose they’ll work it out.


As you related about Provence, so it is here in the south-west of France. If a neighbour wants to talk to me, he or she often “pops over” or when I am being invited out for dinner to someone’s home, they stop by, phone or as a last resort, e-mail. Usually e-mails are followed up with actual phone calls or f2f visits. I love France.

Doré @ Burlap Luxe

hi Vicki
I read your post as wonderful as it is, I can’t help to reflect on days gone by where we picked up the phone that hung on our walls or perfectly placed in a easy answering spot in the home. Be it a
Private conversation or a fun giddy one, it always belt good to hear that phone ring and wonder who that could be…. So personal, and always enlightening to some degree. Now it’s not as personal, and emails, texts, cell phone calls just don’t quit feel that same, I guess it’s more tech touch and less of personal touch now! And even get togethers are seemingly less important, everything is rush rush, and on we go.

I make a big effort to personally call a friend or family member, talk there ear off on what plans are taking place and making new plans. I send a gift card, note card, an I miss you card, keeping in touch personally card. Important to show that special attention to a well thought out attempt to make someone feel special.

I visited ANITA, and pretty much said it all over there.

Will visit soon, and hope to see a visit from you as well.

Thank you for this reminder of personal contact, these poor young ones of today have no clue as to finding a phone booth because we had to check in at home, or make an emergency call, or for goodness sake sit by the phone for days waiting for our true love to call, and missing them by minutes when we were dragged out of the home by a parent for other pressing needs, how did we ever
survive ?? ( PERFECTLY ) I would say!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital
Read previous post:
Saint Tropez summer 2015, Vicki Archer
In The Mood For Saint Tropez