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Quality over quantity should be communication focus

By Staff Editorial
On February 6, 2018

Text messages. All forms of social media. Email. 

The list of apps and programs to keep us more in touch than ever seemingly goes on and on and appears to grow every day. Present day society has the capability to speak to anyone, anywhere, anytime. 

With all the ways to reach out to someone, who would think that there would be a break down of communication or lack of genuine conversation and time spent with friends and loved ones? 

According to a study conducted by Baylor University, the average college student spends 8-10 hours a day on their cell phone, yet most usage is directed toward social media and one-way avenues of communication, such as texting and email. 

Sure, there is a lot of virtual communication going on but the experience of face-to-face and phone conversations is being heavily impacted by technology. 

Case in point: Think about the last time good news was received in person or over the phone instead of in written form, such as a text message. One would expect a more personal and meaningful interaction from the former over the latter. 

Now, think of a time when either a one-way or virtual message sent or received was either misinterpreted or additional effort had to be put in to convey emotions that would have been present in a face-to-face or verbal conversation.  

Finally, think of a time when the desire for personal connection was present but either didn’t occur for a multitude of reasons or was impacted by the other party being on their phone or disengaged in another way. 

The main differences between the experiences should be obvious and revolve around what experts say is vital to meaningful and effective communication - inflection, sincerity, display of emotion and non-verbal communication. Also, many agree that face-to-face interaction is necessary and innately desired for most. In other words, the things that make us human and capable of expressing ourselves. 

There are many who believe technology has disrupted, degraded and even ruined the way humans communicate and interact with one another. The opposition insists that communication has changed and technology is catering to modern needs.   

With research and studies abound, it would seem there is indeed an opportunity for each of us to make a conscious effort to better manage our time as well as embrace what sets us apart from any other species on Earth.  

Technology can be both a tool and a curse, so use it wisely and do not allow it to consume your life, which causes a loss of touch with reality. This week challenge yourself to seek out a face-to-face interaction with a friend or family member and see what a difference just one conversation can make. Sometimes there is no substitute for the human touch, both literally and figuratively speaking.

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