How many of us have moved our communication primarily to the Internet or to text messages? I know I have. I used to dread making phone calls because you never knew if the person was going to pick up, and then you might have to leave a dreaded voicemail, in which you might blather on like a moron because you forgot why you called. Not that I’ve ever done that or anything.
So when people starting using text to communicate more, I was all about it! Send someone a Facebook message instead of having to call them on their birthday? Sign me up. Text to ask the babysitter if she is free? Definitely. But now that so much of our communication has moved to the Internet or text, are we not able to hear or see what the people we are talking to actually mean?
According to this article on Forbes, studies have shown that a mere 7% of our day to day communication is based on the words that we type or speak. The other 93% (wow!) is dependent on body language, inflection, and tone of voice. With communication primarily migrating to an online platform, it’s really hard to read what people really mean when they are “talking” to us.
This switch in communication has also caused a shift towards a larger quantity of communication vs. having good quality communication with those around us. Since we are able to communicate anytime, anywhere, we do! While it’s nice to be able to talk or comment anytime, we are now not putting as much thought into our interactions. Using text and social media as communication avenues also has shown to allow people to hide behind what they say. This can have all kinds of consequences, including people being completely vicious to others in a way that they would never have the guts to do in person.
The moral of the story is, be careful what you type. You never know how the person who is reading it will interpret what you have said. Also, take the time to have meaningful interactions by talking to people on a daily basis. Don’t get too wrapped up in social media and texting and lose track of the human connections that keep us ticking.