Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Technology vs. Communication


I'm concerned. Worried. Technology is taking over. Technology, in and of itself, is not a bad thing! It's a valuable tool to acquire information and make connections that otherwise couldn't be made but it's taking over an imperative part of our lives. We are allowing it to take over our communication. I see it being used to separate instead of connecting. What do I mean? 

Face to face conversations. Difficult and uncomfortable conversations. We opt for email or to share that news digitally. I'm getting frustrated with important information being shared digitally followed by frustration that everyone didn't "get the news". Important information needs to be shared face to face! Difficult conversations need to happen face to face. If everything happens over the lines of the internet, do we even need to be here anymore? 

These are lessons I'm sharing in my communications class. We are practicing having conversations and negotiating and listening through board games and soon through using improv. Conversations take practice. It's a skill that needs to be used. We (the universal we) often say that kids can't communicate. I hear accusations like, "They are always on their device." They learn about behavior from watching. WE are always on devices. WE don't say things anymore, we send an email or a text! WE are responsible for this. 

It has to change. I will do my part. In the beginning of the year, I pledged that I wouldn't use my phone when they couldn't use their phone. Unfortunately, I've slipped. My students put their phones away in a holding place. Mine will go their too, starting today. I will BE in the present with them. I will have the conversations. I will listen. We will communicate! 

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12 comments:

  1. I heard the other day that the term "social media" is an oxymoron because there is nothing social about it -- it actually is separating us from those around us. It is antisocial. It got me thinking....Good for you for recommitting to your resolution to be present!

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  2. I am torn on this issue because I wouldn't know you if not for social media and then our connections here at TWT...Voxer...etc. Social media can make the world smaller and help us find our tribe and kindred spirits across the miles. That is cool. But if we use it as a shield or a way to say hard things without "saying" it face to face, then I get what you mean. Balance, as always, is usually the answer.

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    1. Kathleen, That's the magic & the beauty of technology! As I began, it's not bad but if it's replacing all of our personal connections, I get worried!

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  3. Being in the present ... that's the key right there.
    Kevin

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  4. You are so right! It's practically an addiction perhaps even an epidemic at this point. Thank you for giving me some good points to ponder. Let's take the good and run with it and be a role model for doing what is right.

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  5. You are on to something. Along with not talking face to face, our attention span is lessening. I struggle so much more this year with my 8 year olds to get them to listen to me and each other. I am starting to blame it on technology. We aren't giving these kids enough practice to be still, be quiet, be able to attend. Technology is a powerful tool. yet, it is also making it harder for me to be present with those in my classroom whose attention span is so limited.

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  6. I agree with Kevin, the point is to be in the moment present with everything in you. I'm not sure electronic communication is the problem. If I communicate with you, I am with you. If someone else in the room needs my attention and I am on my phone, I am not with them.

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  7. This was our first year as a One to One school. We've had some growing pains, but it has made me very aware how we have to teach kids to managed their screen time.

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  8. When I walk, it's still amazing to me that most people are looking down at their phones instead of at the beautiful world around them, or that they're pushing a stroller and still not even talking to the children. I've loved connecting to others via the internet, but it doesn't take the place of face-to-face, I agree, Michelle.

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  9. Yet another post that confirms why we are friends, Michelle. I worry about these same things. I would much rather pick up a phone than send a text. When did it become okay to stop talking to each other?

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  10. I've always been PRO technology and embrace the connectiveness of email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram....Blogs...but I share your concern when I am talking and people are on their phones....I too miss talkng and sharing and KNOW beyond a shadow of doubt that we cannot replace interacting with humans with technology....I say all this while I repeat that I hope SOMEDAY soon that we meet in person

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  11. This is obviously a touchy subject for you at the moment. As with anything, I think balance is the key. Yes, there are things that need to be said face-to-face, but I am in a situation where we are having meetings for things that could be simply communicated in an email. There is no discussion to be had, so the need to have everyone stop and come together is frustrating. Valuing people's time is also important. Sigh. Being a good human is tough!

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