The first form of communication emerged during evolution. The first form of communication emerged with facial expressions and gestures. In the course of time, sounds and noise forms of communication have adapted. Thus the first languages and gestures developed in the respective region as we still know them today. We can still observe the combination of language and gestures today, for example, when greeting someone in the Asian region, people still nod while using a friendly “hello”.
What is communication?
Communication is an action, which is usually followed by a reaction. This means that communication is more than language. Thus, body language plays just as important a role. This is the reason for Paul Watzlawick’s first axiom: “You can’t not communicate.”
How do people communicate?
Communication occurs between several people and first requires an action. This action can be a message, which is first encoded by a sender (for example, a language). With the help of a channel (sound waves, telephone, etc.) the information is transmitted. The receiver in turn must first decode/decrypt the transmitted message. A response can then be sent to this decoded message. Problems arise when messages are misinterpreted or incorrectly decoded.
What is changing in our communication?
As humanity continues to evolve, a trend towards digital communication is evident. As a result, communication technology is also revolutionizing. If you analyze digital communication, you will see a new form of encryption and decryption of the communication message. Nowadays, computers, smartphones and co do this coding work. Digital communication is born and has completely digitized an analog exchange.
What are the consequences of digital communication?
While researching, our team kept coming across the word “spontaneity”. If we send a message online, we can respond to it immediately, but we don’t necessarily have to. This means that messages that have already been written can still be corrected and improved. What is already noticeable is that it has both positive and negative consequences. Mentioned here again, communication is always evolving and we need to find the best way to deal with it.
Example of negative digital communication.
As an example, let’s mention a work situation where a team leader has the task of explaining a vacation ban to his team. The team leader receives this task from his supervisor and it makes good business sense. The simplest way of a direct confrontation avoidance is to write a collective email and to answer the most important questions already in the email. However, the social competence is completely missing. The communication exchange is longer and must therefore be chosen carefully. Digital communication can therefore supplement the form of communication, but not completely replace it, especially when it comes to sensitive topics.
Inhibition decreasing with increasing digital communication?
Anyone can write anything on the Internet, and the Internet does not forget. If we take a look at Internet comments, we can observe a decreasing inhibition. The number of hate comments is increasing and the statements are becoming more personal, hurtful and aggressive. From bullying to death threats, everything is there. Thus, individual opinions can be quickly proclaimed on the Internet without immediate consequences becoming apparent. The prolonged exchange of action and reaction lowers inhibitions.
What is the goal?
The goal is to find a healthy balance and to individualize. Readiness should therefore be trained to use both forms of communication. Digital communication can therefore be used to convey a message, while sensitive topics can be better conveyed in a face-to-face conversation.
Digital Detoxing aims to promote an open, fair and honest exchange of communication. This communication should take advantage of the positive aspects and balance out the negative points. The conscious insight of one’s digital consumption, can influence one’s communication style in certain situations. The simple awareness creation for the communication choice influences our actions (online comments), our leadership style (leader or boss) and thus our entire coexistence as a society.