Is Technology crippling our communication skills?

The technology was meant to connect people, but today it has become the single biggest force that is distancing people. No doubt that the means of communication have become simple but there is no human or emotional connect. Whether it is personal relationships or business associations, it is important to have good interpersonal relationships with everyone that you come across.

It isn’t uncommon for families to be sitting across the dining table and surfing their respective phones. In boardrooms, before and after the meetings, colleagues are busy on phone instead of sharing ideas and indulging in constructive talks. While technology claims to bring people miles away closer to us, it is also pushing our near ones away from us.

Before we even realize, there will be conflicts and cracks in the relations and associations deep enough for us to mend. Research says that not only in personal relationships, but good interpersonal communications also play a great role in forging fruitful business connections as well. Despite its many benefits, the Digital World is sucking everyone into an abysmal hole. Eventually, it is making us socially awkward and disconnected from our own selves. If we become uncomfortable initiating even minimal talks with our family, friends or business colleagues, it is sure to impact our productivity and potential collaborations.

Given below are a few of the ways in which the technology is creating a barrier in our communication and its time that we wake up and smell the coffee:

(1) The phone is used to fill up the silence

Silence or the company of strangers is our biggest excuse to dig ourselves into our phones or tablets. Let us make an attempt to connect with the world around us to stay healthier. You can start with any generic conversation such as any latest news, weather condition, sports, movies or the economic situation of the country, stock market, etc. You may never know but you may gain so much out of this impromptu knowledge sharing session. You also get a chance to express your views and build contacts which can be useful to you.

If the person is known to you, you can start about asking about his well-being, health, family, etc. This will only improve your interpersonal relations and increase your number of well-wishers.

(2) Instant messengers are replacing actual talks

Most of us these days, choose to opt for Instant or direct messaging or chats in case we want to share an update or catch up on something. Experts opine that it takes a lot lesser time to actually call the person directly or walk up to him to explain the entire issue rather than typing it out. This not only results in effective communication but also saves a lot of time. In fact, a lot of miscommunications can also be avoided if we take a direct route as opposed to the virtual way. In the corporate world, Texting, Facebooking or Skyping can lead to dangerous levels of miscommunication if not handled properly.

(3) Gives a false notion that you are busy

Being on the phone, tab or laptop all the time, gives the notion that you are busy. It tracks not only the people but also yourself. You feel you are doing something all the times, but if you do a reality check, you will understand that actually, you have wasted most of the time. This time could have been actively used to build better relations with your co-workers or team, and enhance the team efforts. If you are always addicted to technology, you can also appear to be unapproachable to your team, which creates a barrier to communication.

(4) Forever Distraction

Technology is a kind of distraction that is omnipresent. Whether we are in an important meeting, in a medical emergency, driving or amid a crucial conversation, one beep on our personal devices is enough to take our attention off our work. This kind of distraction doesn’t allow us to focus on our work and also the important conversations that we could be doing in our families or the workplace. The omnipresent chats, instant messengers and other applications always keep our mind in a distracted state.

(5) Social isolation and depression

Most of us have hundreds of friends on social media, but how many of them do we really speak to or how many of them are we really interested in? With so much of the time spent in simply liking or commenting on videos or indulging in something that is not of any relevance to us, we are losing time for human connection or actual companions. Eventually, this leads to a phase of loneliness and makes us completely isolated from the real world. Medical professionals opine that loneliness leads to depression and a lot of ailments which cripples our senses and makes us unproductive in the long run.