June 12, 2013
MEMO: Communication in the 21st Century
Sharing our thoughts, feelings, knowledge and wisdom is just that — it’s sharing. It takes a certain amount of human generosity in order to share. Often times, if we don’t express things, it festers inside until it finds some outlet of expression; healthy or otherwise. Now, granted, some people would probably rather not share their innermost thoughts, visions and ideas for fear of scrutiny; or perhaps they simply don’t see a reason to share or simply don’t know how to. When we get the urge to communicate these days, we usually send a text message or hit them up on Facebook.
It’s kind of ironic that the more that communication devices have evolved the less communicative it seems some people have become. In conventional terms, that is.
A lot of people would rather text and email these days than pick up the phone and call somebody. You still get the same message, right? It’s just delivered succinctly by smartphone, tablet or other device. It seems these days that communication delivered electronically, save for Skype and Facetime, where you can actually see the person’s face, is often missing a very important element. That’s the element of tone and body language. When you speak with someone in person, the meaning of their message is telegraphed by body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, etc.
The trouble with electronic messages is that you read the words but somehow the message doesn’t resonate as much as it would if you were actually hearing the person speak the words of the message they’re trying to convey.
Text messages often do not include proper punctuation. This lack of punctuation makes language lose some of it meaning and can take some of the oomph out of the message.
Be careful not to let your communication devices stunt your communicative ability. Have a good old-fashioned conversation with somebody. It’ll make you feel better to express your thoughts and feelings to another human being. Sure, your smartphone is the best thing since sliced bread. Cling to it. Love it. No matter the form or method of communication, be sure to always show human grace, etiquette and compassion. Emily Post would be proud. If she could text she’d probably say HGM. Have good manners.