More Technology—Less Communication?Through technology we are in touch with more people more frequently, but are we communicating with each other less?
Our busy lives and increased levels of stress have shortened our attention spans. We talk, through email or text, at each other rather than with each other. Is anyone really listening? We exchange personal and business information without the benefit of being in the room together, so we miss important clues as to how that information is being heard.
We have no vocal clues or facial expressions to let us know that someone is offended by what we’ve said because they didn’t know that we were being sarcastic— LOL aside. We don’t know that we should change the subject because we can’t tell that we’ve lost somebody’s interest or inadvertently upset the person on the other end.
In our personal lives, these misfired interactions may lead to intense social problems or, worse, loss of valued relationships. Confusion, doubt and hurt feelings require time to sort through. And who’s got the time for that?
What can we do to ensure that we are not just staying in touch, but actually communicating effectively and productively with one another?1. Don't jump to conclusions.
A text message that reads like an insult may just be an attempt at poor humor.2. Clarify what you think you heard or understood.
By repeating back to the other person what you think they were trying to say to you, you can eliminate any misunderstanding. If there is some action you are being asked to take, you want to be clear on exactly what it is so that you don't disappoint someone or jeopardize your standing in a business situation, for example.3. Listen. Resist the temptation to say something.
Talking past one another does not constitute communication. When someone else is speaking, take in his or her words rather than thinking about what you're going to say next. Wait until that person has stopped speaking to give your response or ask a question.4. Try to put yourself in someone else's shoes.
Don't just think about what you want from any communication; tune up your "sense of other" and consider what the other person wants or needs. Attempt to see things from his or her perspective, not just your own. What you may have thought of as pointless or silly may just make a lot of sense when seen through another's eyes.
A way in which to make technology work for you to enhance your communications and relationships is through sending ecards.
Online electronic cards can be easily accessed, and the variety of cards available makes it simple to customize a card to the recipient while reflecting who you are. Some of the best personal
cards around can be found at unvelope.com.