Thursday, February 28, 2013

Can you hear me now? Making technology work for you AND your relationships.

Technology in this day and age has come so far and is remarkable in so many convenient ways. This convenience of texting, emailing, tweeting, instant messaging, face timing, skyping, facebooking, may be taking a toll you your relationships. Now there is no doubt that these vehicles for communication often are an aid in communicating and staying in touch with our friends and family but what are the consequences of the lack of face to face and telephonic conversations? Let's see how all of us can make adjustments in our lives for the best use of our communication for ourselves and in relation to others.

For those who grew up without cell phones and computers:
Keep in mind you could be missing out on staying in touch if you are resistant to using the latest and greatest tools.
Are your kids responsive via text? Better at keeping in the know when they let you know where they are with the touch of a few key strokes? Learn to use it; be in the know so stay in touch with your teenager with guidelines of use (expectations of time response and consequences if non responsive).

For those who might use modern day communication tools a little too much:
Try to be mindful about the amount of use of texting and emailing. Texts can be a nice way to show someone you are thinking of them though try to take breaks from your phone. For example, leave it in the gym locker or turn it on do not disturb, and if you can fathom the idea, see how it feels to leave the phone at home when going out for the evening. Take opportunities when in company of others to be present and thoughtful about the use of your phone. Think about how it feels when someone you are with is constantly looking at his/her phone. See if you can limit your texting to those times when need to be in touch and let someone know quickly where to meet or are running late. Remember how it feels when you receive a phone call from an important person. Consider how good it feels to hear that persons voice. We are all doing the best that we can to stay in touch. Try your hardest to make the best choice of the use of the different modes of communication.

Benefits of in person contact: 
You can see, hear, and touch. Sometimes you just need a hug, or a hand to be held. Sometimes words over text can be misunderstood without tone of voice. Being present with another allows us to feel more connected, have eye contact, a mirroring smile, or a pat on the back when needed. Notice when you might change your choice of words,emphasis, and tone when face to face, telephone, or email. Awareness is the first step of making improvements in your communication and relationships.