New Ways of Communication
As humans, our nature is to communicate with the people around us and in our lives. Some people may communicate more than others, but we all do it. After closely analyzing the way I communicate via conversation, appearance, and technology, I have concluded that everyone has their own way of communication.
One thing I noticed that I haven’t noticed before is that we can communicate in ways other than just talking and having conversation. As I headed out of my dorm to the elevator for my 8:00 a.m. class, I was not alone. A girl from down the hall hopped on the elevator in a well, thought-out outfit that looked absolutely fabulous. Her hair looked neat, and her make-up was carefully done. We exchanged a hello and smile. On our way down the elevator, we made a stop on the seventh floor. Another girl stepped onto the elevator wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Not to mention, her hair was a mess and you could easily tell that she was too. It was that moment that I realized these two girls were communicating the way they were feeling without even having to speak. The girl who was wearing the really cute outfit must have been feeling confident that day, and the girl wearing sweatpants must have been thinking about nothing but sleep. They were communicating their moods and the way they were feeling through their appearance. Until that morning, I had never looked at the way people looked as a sense of communicating how they were feeling. For the rest of the day, I carefully analyzed the appearance of others and how that is simply an alternative and creative way to communicate.
When I came into contact with someone I usually see every day, the way we communicated was very different than the communication I had with someone I do not get the chance to see very often. For example, when I had an encounter with someone who lives next to me or someone who is in my class, we had a brief conversations. But when I saw someone who was in my orientation group, or someone I see once or twice a week, we took a few minutes to catch up and find out how one other is doing. I observed that throughout my entire day, I didn’t have a long conversation with anyone except when eating lunch. This came as somewhat of a shock for me. I like to think of myself as a very social person, but this made me realize just how busy I really am.
The next encounter with communication, in a way, involved no communication at all. This event took place on the elevator. I think everyone can relate to this because everyone has experienced the “awkward-elevator” ride. After my last class of the day I decided to head back to my dorm to eat something. When I got onto the elevator there was no one else. As the doors begin to close, they suddenly re-opened, and in my mind I am saying, “So annoying!” But then a boy whom I’ve never seen before hops on the elevator along with me. Now, this boy was extremely cute, and naturally, my inner-shyness came shining through. The elevator ride was incredibly awkward, yet I never wanted it to end. There was absolutely no communication with words, but my body language gave my shyness away completely. I backed my way up into the left corner of the elevator as far away from him asa possible. In my head I kept trying to figure out a way to introduce myself and find out what his name was. By the time we reached his floor I built up enough courage to say good-bye. When I did, he looked back, smiled, and said good-bye back. I have to be honest; it was the highlight of my day. Based on this wonderful encounter, I understood the meaning of how a smile can change someone’s entire day.
I communicate with others mostly through text and email. I am constantly texting my friends, my sisters, and of course, my mom! I never realized how much I take advantage of texting until my roommate texted me at night, asking what kind of pasta sauce I wanted on my pasta. The sad part is, she was cooking in the kitchen, and I was sitting in my bedroom...ten feet away. My email is what I use mostly to communicate with my professors and/or teachers or other classmates. When I email my professors, I do not talk to them the way I would if I was talking to a friend or even a close family member. When I communicate with my professors, it is very important to me to sound polite and to show respect.
Not having any type of technology for an hour at first seemed like a cruel punishment. I felt so disconnected with the world within the first five minutes. I wanted so badly to put my iPod on while I did homework, or quickly check my Facebook to see if I have any notifications, or even better, a new friend request! After realizing that this wasn’t possible, I decided to spend my time wisely and read for class. Not having a phone, a computer, or an i pod turned out to be extremely beneficial. Because I had no distractions while reading or doing my homework, I felt more engaged in the work and I could feel that I was getting more out of it. I could feel my brain absorbing all the information I was attaining and learning. For that single hour, it was extraordinarily comforting not knowing what every one in the world was doing, and being able to solely focus on myself. When I went back to technology, I was still tempted to use my phone and computer, but I was able to put if off and complete what I considered priority.
The best form of communication is personal conversation to an actual person; not to a smart phone or to a computer. Of course, it is understandable that those are very effective and convenient ways of communicating. But talking to someone’s face is even more effective. Just like writing a letter is sometimes more intimate and personal. Or how reading a book, and having the ability to flip actual pages, is more rewarding than reading a novel on a nook. When we speak to others we use our voices. We are building social skills, and showing emotion. After carefully observing the way I communicate and how others communicate as well, I have made it my mission to speak, and communicate with others more throughout my day. Everyday is so hectic, and so stressful. Talking to a friend or perhaps someone you don’t know, exchanging a few words, or sharing a laugh can take our minds off our endless “to do” list. Conversations can alleviate some of the pressure and stress that we feel everyday.