September 26, 2013
Communication is Key; Technology is a Distraction
I went into the experience of the iExamen very open-minded, but going into the assignment, I believed I had a general understanding of how people tend to communicate with each other and how technology played a role in communication and every day life. I did not, however, take into consideration the way I communicate differently with certain people compared to others. Through a day of observation, I have discovered a new perspective on how people communicate in different manner depending on how well they may know them and how technology effects the way one communicates.
Through this iExamen, I realized I communicate in a different way compared to the way I communicate with others. The tone of voice and the choice of words people use often go unnoticed when we are not aware of the surroundings. Whenever I speak to family members, friends or fellow classmates, I discovered that my style of speaking and communication was more casual and friendly and much less proper. I have also noticed that whenever I speak to professors or other adults, I communicate with them in a more formal and professional manner. I was not so surprised with the fact that many people, including myself, may change the way we speak depending on who we are communicating with, but it became more clear when paying close attention to what is happening around me.
As I walked across campus seeing many familiar faces, I realized that the use of technology, especially cell phones, plays a major role in distractions and not being able to make eye contact. When walking along the sidewalk or going into an elevator, I have noticed that instead of making awkward eye contact with people we do not know, many students, including myself, begin to stare at their cell phones and do not acknowledge the other people around. There was no eye contact made and no acknowledgement of human existence. The use of cell phones as a distraction from awkward or uncomfortable situations is not an uncommon occurrence, since I see a majority amount of people, students and faculty, using cell phones while walking around the campus instead of observing what may be going on around them.
Technology plays an active part of our daily communication. Texting, emails, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow us to frequently connect with others. A simple handshake, warm smiles, friendly waves and making phone calls have been replaced with emails, Facebook posts, Twitter replies and Instagram photos. I have observed that friends having lunch, for example, tend to look at social media on their smartphones instead of having conversations with one another.
To disconnect from all technology for one hour was a bit challenging in the beginning, but it was nice to finish my assignments without having any distractions. When using my computer for homework, I realized that I waste a lot of time checking social media, although I know nothing has changed within the last five minutes. Although it was only one hour, I cherished the moments I had where I could separate myself from technology. I valued the conversations I had with my roommates during dinner and truly appreciated the smiles and waves from friends I saw passing. I now understand how technology changes the way we communicate with others and came to a realization that there needs to be a balance between using technology and having the memorable moments without the distractions.