Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What Did You Say?...Make Your Body Language Heard

Ever email a friend and, due to their incorrect interpretation of what you sent, that friend turned into a foe? Ever receive a text message and get instantly perturbed because, lo and behold, the actual meaning didn't really come across exactly crystal clear on your 50x50 pixel screen?

Some say the art of communication is becoming endangered. Others argue it's already dead. Well, at least that's what they write anyway.

The problem? No one talks anymore.

"Wait a minute," you say. "I talk to my friends all the time!" Yeah, in emails, facebook chatting, text messaging...

Ah, but we're missing the most important ingredient to the art of communication, the part that helps us see the truer meaning behind the words: body language.

It's easy to see who's attention you have and who's you don't when you're talking face to face...or rather when you're talking and they are looking at their cell phone, waiting for it to ring, or (how many times has this happened to you) they are texting someone while you are talking!

Oh, yeah. Body language does say it all.

But, what happens when you take away the face to face and there's a misunderstanding? How often has an otherwise easily understood meaning gotten mistaken and someone is left with the question: what the hell was that supposed to mean?!

Years ago - when the web was new - it was awesome to talk with my cousin who rarely picked up the phone, thousands of miles away, yet answered an email from time to time. However, since she was so new to the technology she didn't quite understand the language yet. One false move on my part - adding a (sp) after a couple words I wasn't sure I had spelled correctly - and wham! My four little characters were considered as an insult (namely, she interpreted it as though I was saying that she couldn't spell) and she didn't talk to me - email or on the phone - for months.

Petty? Yes. But this is only one small innocent example of the many misunderstandings I've had in my life due to these non-verbal miscommunications types (no pun intended). I won't entertain you with the more brutal ones...some days I feel as though I'm still rebuilding those bridges.


So this example brings up an interesting point! Maybe the art of communication isn't actually dead yet. Maybe we have merely created a new way of communicating! And body language really isn't left out of our new language either...

just to name a few...

Emails, texts, and chatting may be just simply characters on a screen, but they can sure become an imaginative fun way of talking with eachother ;) If it wasn't for this simple yet prolific way of communicating, I wouldn't have been able to get back into contact with numerous friends that I've had all over the world (yep, I'm a military brat!) Any time of the day, all I have to do is pop onto my facebook page, check my email, or text a friend, and wham! I'm talking with them, wherever they may be, whatever they may be doing. It's so much easier nowadays to be contact with just about anyone! Even those whom you may never actually see again...

Everyone has their own way of staying in touch. Some of us prefer face-to-face conversations. Some of us just don't have the time or the energy to talk to anyone after a long busy day. And some of us are land somewhere in between. But no matter how you do it - in person or via your blackberry - make sure your body language is speaking loud and clear.

Oh. And if there is a misunderstanding on one or both of your parts...don't let it go unsaid. We're human after all. No one is perfect...No one.