Communication: Too Easy to be Effective?

 

By Rachel Schwarz

Last week, I wrote about how technology has made us lazy communicators. We send a quick e-mail or make a status update on Facebook to clue others in about what’s going on in our lives. Technology has taken much of the hassle out of communication. What I’m concerned with on a larger scale is this: does the ease of keeping in touch stop us from doing the real work?

When I was in junior high, my best friend from camp and I would write each other letters (sent via snail mail) and call each other from our home phones. We’d spend hours catching up on every detail of our lives and hated saying goodbye knowing it would be at least a few days before we could speak again because of the long distance charges.

Those were the glory days of keeping in touch. Even though that makes me sound like a Baby Boomer, I’m part of the “Millenials”! Things aren’t so intimate anymore. I’ve been asked out on dates through text, located friends out at night because of Twitter, and gone weeks without actually hearing a friend’s voice because of a Facebook message thread that sufficed while we were busy.

I fear that these disconnected ways of communication are detrimental to developing our interpersonal skills: talking on the phone, meeting new people in real world settings, and keeping in touch with long-distance friends with an effort that shows dedication to the friendship, and not to a text message plan. The real people in our lives are too important to be reduced to names in an address book.

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