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The Lost Art of Communication Posted On 16 July 2021

Less of the emojis, more of the real-world interaction

 

Saturday 17th July may mark World Emoji Day 2021 but this year challenge yourself to rely less upon communication via emoji and reconnect with family and friends in real life.

Over the past year or so, communicating through screens has become more the norm than ever and it undoubtedly holds a now vital place in our community. Yet we mustn’t let the convenience and ease of communicating through technology replace our speech and language skills. As blogger Aaron Crowther says, “the problem with being connected is that we are not connecting.”

So, how can you improve your communication skills?

  • Prioritise face-to-face conversation. 50% of communication is non-verbal (eye contact, body language etc). 40% is given to inflection and tone (how we say what we are saying). The remaining 10% is attributed to what we actually say. Using face-to-face interaction reduces the chance of your point being misconstrued or misinterpreted. It also gives the chance for clarification to happen immediately if there any confusion in your message.
  • Ditch the texts – opt for phone calls over text where possible. This way although you will have lost the non-verbal communication, you will retain the 40% given to tone and inflection. Again, there is the opportunity for immediate clarification of there is any confusion. Challenge yourself to call up an old friend and notice the instant lift to your mood. I guarantee it’ll make you feel better than endless scrolling.
  • Anything but social media – whilst texts are not a good form of communication to choose if you need to discuss anything in depth or have any sort of meaningful communication, they can be a good way to touch base. Texts are a concise way to reach out to someone individually (to say Happy Birthday or see when they are free for a chat) without posting a generic message on social media for all to see.

So this World Emoji Day, put people over machines and reach out to your loved ones face-to-face, even if you have to use the convenience of technology to get their attention. Use technology rather than letting it use you. A quick phone call or text to invite a family member or friend over is a good way to strike the balance.

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