Saturday, January 23, 2010

Communication 101 in 2010

I graduated from St. Cloud State in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science, double majoring in Mass Communications and Speech Communications. I graduate Cum Laude. But, 13 years after completing my degrees, I think I need some sort of update course in Communications (the word "speech" has now been dropped from the major). You see, I no longer seem to have a solid grasp of interpersonal communication with the current technology. Many of us apparently have no problem communicating with the "masses" though...because of Facebook, texting, tweeting, blogging, etc... But what about communicating directly, with one person?

Where am I going with this? Well, what is the best way to be in touch with individuals, friends or family for personal purposes?

Honestly, I think of the missed, lost, or neglected messages due to the fact that there are simply too many ways to communicate, and too many places to leave a message. Because of the multiple ways to send or receive a message, every single one of them is diluted in their effectiveness of reaching the recipient, and then actually being responded to.

Examples of interpersonal communication - E mail, text messages, tweeting, Facebook messages, VM at home, VM at work, VM on the cell phone, caller ID log if you choose NOT to leave a msg or you didn't listen to my message, comments on a blog, or snail mail with the US postal service... I guess.

Honestly... it is complex (and TIME CONSUMING) to keep up! With so many options (or distractions?) is there any time left to actually "chat" with true friends, one on one, exchanging meaningful information... (rather than a one line 120 character update about your reaction to what you viewed on TV last night?)

There are times when I long for the day when there was ONE home phone number for a family, with ONE machine to take messages (or the human who answered), and NO caller ID. You knew if the family was home, because if they were, they actually ANSWERED their phone. You knew if they were on the phone (thus being home) because there was a simple BUSY signal! How often do we simply CHOOSE not to answer a phone, because we don't want to be bothered with actually TALKING to someone (communicating DIRECTLY). We would rather listen to the message, or read the message, and then choose how we will respond and when. If someone actually has an EMERGENCY, and doesn't get in touch with us with their first course of contact, they quickly move on to the next method to contact us.

Back in the good old days, people actually ANSWERED A RINGING phone, because there might actually BE AN EMERGENCY! They actually HEARD their ringing phone because it was loud, and attached to the wall, with a curly cord. Back in the day... like all high school girls, I LOVED to lounge on my bed and TALK to my BF Cindy on the phone!

Now days, who EVER calls a home phone??????? Like many, Mark and I do not have a land line. Back in the day, we would have actually had to communicate with other individuals in a household to take a message. I actually miss this!

For many individuals today, a phone call to any number is the least preferred method of communication. (God forbid there is an answer, and we talk, converse, directly, right then... and there...)

Honestly.... Do you see what I mean?

It actually saddens me how this is shaping our communication with our friends and family in this decade. I know I am effected. In fact, I am blogging right now, which is a MASS COMMUNICATION in its truest form. I am just expounding on things we all know are true. Sometimes, I honestly fear we all may know both a LOT MORE unimportant things, and a LOT LESS important things about those dear to us because of mass communication (Facebook!?).

My brother told me a few years back, "If you want to get a hold of me, or tell me something, CALL ME! You are my sister for GOD SAKES! Pick up the phone. Don't e-mail me!" I truly respect this about Brett, and he remains firm to this even today. We don't text each other either. You see, we care enough about each other to talk directly, with our voices, on an even exchange.

Mass Communication and Communications are NOT the same thing. As a society, we have become pros at communicating with the masses, and I feel with each key stoke on our fancy phone, laptop, etc... we move a teeny tiny bit farther from true interpersonal communication. You see interpersonal communication takes more of an investment of ourselves, our time, and our emotions. But my point is, to be true to friendships and family, I think this investment is pertinent.

So...for myself, I will make it a goal to be conscious that "mass communication" is NOT a direct connect! I will be conscious to invest of myself for those I value. (Most certainly I will also continue to blog. Tune in and out as you please! My best friend has never once visited my blog (I don't think). That is just fine by me. We usually chat several times a week.)

Unfortunately, I think society and technology are working against me. At the moment I don't text, I don't twitter and tweet, I rarely post about myself on Facebook. I still like personal e mails to individuals through their actual e mail account too. Shall I call myself a "purist"? Surely not, since I am a blogger! I will tell you though, with blogging, I do feel I get to share the whole story, and emotion with all of you.

So, the truth is, I have no clarity... I just wanted to bla bla on my blog about my observations!


Mary in MN said...

Hi Andrea,

I can say the same thing:
At the moment I don't text, I don't twitter and tweet, I rarely post about myself on Facebook

And you know what? I could really care less. I think we as a culture spend enough time on the internet without adding so much other stuff. I do love email because it's hard for me to talk on the phone when the kids are around... other than that, I think people need to stop texting so much, drives me absolutely nuts when my friend texts more than she talks to me when we're together. Just rude in my opinion..

Anonymous said...
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JennyF said...

I have a friend who calls me at home but doesn't leave messages. But she expects me to return her calls just by seeing that she called, and has gotten mad when I didn't!

The Koenig Family said...

Amen to all of that Andrea! I agree 100%. I like to hear ones voice.

Memories of all the phone calls we shared after we went to school all day together, then took the bus together and so on.

Was is 848-2574

Anonymous said...
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