Communication is a key part in our everyday lives. It is the way, in which we exchange messages and meanings to one another through the use of symbolic interaction i.e. spoken language or body language. In my daily life, I communicate with people on a secondly basis whether it be face to face or through the use of technology. While communication is constant in life, the way I communicate differs when different medias are used. Through this self-observation exercise I realized a lot about the way I communicate with others and how they perceive me as a person.
Going into this exercise, I had an idea on the way in which I communicate with people but never quite understood the extent of it. I never realized how often/ how much I communicate on a daily basis. Communication is an ongoing activity and comes in all different forms. Even my body language is communicating to others when I don’t realize it. The hardest part of this exercise for me was going to be disconnecting from technology for an hour. Although an hour doesn’t seem like a long time, in today’s society it is an eternity. Technology, especially now being at college, is a huge way in which I communicate with friends and family in other parts of the country.
Through this exercise I learned that I am a very blunt and honest but very sarcastic. The blunt and honesty comes from not wanting to hide who I really am. Especially with coming to college and getting to remake myself, I do not want to be the closed off girl I was in high school. I used to keep my feelings and emotions bottled up but here I feel that I need to be myself. Some of the people I communicate with on a daily basis think I am mean/harsh but funny at the same time. I like to crack jokes when the opportunity arises without realizing how mean some of the things I am saying are. In this exercise I started to notice more and toned down my sarcastic mentality because it is still early in the college process and people are still forming opinions. Although I come off mean, once the people I am around realize that it is like a defense mechanism they start to see the humor in my comments.
I noticed also that I use a lot of hand gestures and facial expressions. Coming from the New York/New Jersey area, it is common for people to talk with their hands and express how they really feel. We sometimes have no filter and whatever comes out comes out. Some people feel very intimidated by my hand gestures and tend to step back when speaking in close proximities with me. I try to control my hand movements but it is such a natural act for me that I do not realize that I am doing it.
With the absence of technology I felt disconnected. As I was going through the hour, others around me were constantly engaged in their phones or laptops and I was sitting there trying to have a conversation. Since we have technology our face-to-face communication skills are hindered. I felt as if no one was paying attention to me and that I needed to fight for their attention. When I returned to my phone I had many messages from friends at home. I felt as if I were out of the loop in my group messages with my best friends at home. Especially being here at school, I feel as if my phone is the way for me to stay in constant contact with those who are not physically here. However I felt proud and satisfied with myself that I could separate from my technology for an hour. I felt more productive and refreshed.
At the end of this exercise I realized how important all forms of communication are. Whether it be face-to-face or through the use of technology we are constantly communicating with one another. The ways in which we communicate with one another are imperative to the relationships we form and maintain.