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There was an article which i found quite intresting in the newspaper the other day. It addresses the issue of the importance of communication in a relationship. The writer says that there are basically four viewpoints that we should avoid having when communicating with the other party in order to avoid a cycle of dissagreement. They are as follows

1) Distorted reality viewpoint/ Validation viewpoint

This means that everyone sees things from their own perspective and may therefore become unreasonable in our arguments. We are not able to view things from the other person’s point of view. According to Bacon’s 4 idols that distorts communication, viewing things according to what we know is known as idols of the cave. We have limited access to knowledge and thus, it limits our understanding on many issues. Validation viewpoint talks about our ability to filter credible information that goes against our beliefs and knowledge. Thus, we are not open to information which proves our beliefs wrong. If we choose to be less accepting to the other person’s point of view, we may encounter miscommunication and even invite a conflict. This also goes against the Psychological Perspective of communication which emphasises that effective communication is achieved with the ‘meeting of the minds’. This means that we should be able to comprehend what the other person is saying in order for us to have effective communication.

Accuser viewpoint

This is the stand that everyone usually takes in a conflict. People tend to push the blame when things go wrong. This may escalate into a quarrel. According to the 10 stages of a relationship by Knapp’s model of relational development , this tendency to push the blame is known as Negative Identity Management. By doing so, we fail to solve the problem because we are diffusing it into other issues. Conflicts usually arise due to difference in perception, lack of communication, different motivations and failure to identify and solve a problem without diffusing into another issue.

Excuser Viewpoint

We tend to practice self-serving bias by providing an excuse for anything that we do wrong. However, we fail to look at the circumstances or excuses when someone else does the same mistake. This behavior may irritate the other person. Afterall who likes to experience biasness against themselves? According to the Equity Theory, the under-benifiting person will be unhappy. In this case, the under-benifiting person would be the one who is experiencing biasness against him/her. Such behavior invites conflict which can be solved if people practice effective communication. When communicating, we should also avoid using language that is sarcastic or ambiguous. Clear and simple language should be used to avoid confusion. Words that are ambiguous may be taken in the wrong manner and may thus backfire. People may misinterpret such words and the conflict may escalate.

When faced with a problem, we also should not postpone it or avoid it by changing the subject. By doing so, we are circumscribing. Circumscribing is a stage in the Knapps’ model of relational development, which is experienced when people rather not talk about certain issues regarding their relationship. This may lead to stagnation in the relationship because avoiding an issue does not solve it.

We should also be aware of the non-verbal messages that we are sending to the other person while communicating with them. Affect Display is one way in which we can send positive/negative impressions about ourselves. Affect display is the way we sit, where we place our hands and what we do while we are speaking. Usually, we are not aware of the message we are sending through affect display. However, it is one of the most effective way in which an observer determines our interest level and sincerity about what we are saying. thus, the judge our credibility through affect display. We  should sit upright and not fold our arms or cross our legs when solving a conflict. Slouching indicates lack of interest and sincerity. Folding of arms and crossing of legs shows our pride and inability to open up to suggestions and compromise.

Haptics is extremely important in a relationship. Touch can be used to show love, concern and comfort. It is the most comforting thing a person can experience. Problems seem lighter when you get a warm hug from someone. Such actions may be so effective that it can solve the conflict without use of words. Touch, i believe is the most powerful tool in communication. From a baby to the elderly, touch is the most comforting experience that has no cultural or language barrier.

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{March 9, 2008}   pepsi advertisment

This video shows us the pepsi avertisement. Pepsi uses the tagline-ask for more. This advertisement shows us an indian boy who grew up in a place where they looked after elephants. He was seen holding the can of pepsi throughout the video although the village context does not go along very well with a modern day drink like pepsi. But it is this contrast that allows viewers to notice the intention of the video. It is also very amusing when the elephants show interest in the drink and try to reach it by standing on top of each other. The boy thinks that he was able top train them well but eventually realises that the elephants were not trained, the merely tried different ways to reach that can of pepsi. So it was indeed very amusing to learn that the tricks they performed were created by the elephants’ imagination itself and not taught to them.

The underlining message of course, is that pepsi is irresistable and everyone, including the animals, wants a share of it. As we watch the video, you would notice that the music played in the background is very light-hearted and happy. It creates a happy and relaxed mood and tells us that the video is about something that is for entertainment and not serious like an important news. The english used was simple and in short sentences. Therefore, it could be used in several countries where english might not be the first language. It complements the boy’s actions. In this clip, the verbal cues helped to emhasise and explain the non-verbal cues.

Finally, the boy realised that the hippo reacted in a more impressing manner than the elephants. While he was upset that the elephants which could stand on top of one another had left him, he was happy to find a hippo that could jump high up in the air. This comical ending also illustrates the tagline of pepsi which says to ask for more. Indeed he got alot more than he asked for when he drank pepsi the next time round. He got a flying hippo to show off with!

Companies use interesting concepts to appeal to the audience and to capture their attention on the product through a funny story. People remember graphics, taglines, ryming words and a story that either touched their hearts, tickled a funny bone or addressed an important and serious issue. As such, most advertisments make use of these few ways to draw viewer’s attention to their message. Repitition, contrast, creativity and intensity are some things that can affect our memory of things and selection of information. That is why, an advertisment would make use of contrasting concepts that would repeat the name of their product and its benefits in the advertisment.



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This is an article from the Today paper. It says that Singapore could be the first in the world to interact with a computer or television through programmes. The Media Development Authority announced on Thursday (March 6, 2008) that it was awarding its first niche Internet protocol television service to VeeV Interactive. Coming September, VeeV TV will feature Knowledge based programmes ranging from cooking shows and learning to play golf, to educational themes like learning maths and science.

The communication between the programmes it offers and the viewers will be interactive. Response to quizzes and comments on performances will be available. Viewers can play games, answer questions and expect feedback to be given. Education is given a whole new meaning. This programme will allow viewers to use technology with a touch of reality. Communicating with a machine and in the process gainig knowledge from it. Don’t you think the world is becoming too involved with the virtual world that it is beginnig to lose human touch? Everything is becoming to advanced and technology based. Soon we will be confiding our problems and discussing marital issues with our new counsellor-the programmed robot. Haha.. in my opinion, if this continues, the people in the next generation will be having problems communicating face-face with a human being! Isolation and lack of display of emotions will be some of the problems faced by youths in future. Interaction with a ‘box’ is afterall without any emotion.

Already with the advancement in technology and hectic lifestyles, studies are beginning to show a corelation between television programmes or video games with high influence on children’s behaviour. If we further encourage children to ‘park’ themselves in front of the television set, we are risking the negative impact it can have on the children’s development. Communication is the cause of influence on behaviour and thoughts. We can mould a person’s thoughts via communication. Written or oral, if communication is persuasive, it has the power to influence. As such, it is very important to carefully choose what type of communication we want to expose these children to. If they become accustommed to interacting with a ‘box’  , it would be detrimental to their ability to communicate with people and vocalise their thoughts and feelings through verbal and non-verbal cues.



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This is an article from the Today newspaper. It talks about the lack of verbal communication or face to face communication youth nowadays engage in. It says that even when youths are sitting together in a group, they usually seem to be more intrested or comfortable in communicating via text messages on their handphones. Their inability to communicate verbally when standing face to face with a person, may hinder their future. Buisness deals, teaching professions, leadership roles and influential posts in the government requires for public speaking and influential speeches. Not being able to engage even in small talks may be detrimental to their future success. Over dependence on technologies such as the internet chat rooms and the handphones for communication may be the cause of this problem. This shows that youth prefer the interactive model of communication where the reciever’s feedback is important but silence is not part of communication. The article also says that even on the internet, youths engage in very brief communication with limited interactions and feedback. I think that this is because, this model limits their ability to understand each other better. Emotions, tone and other non-verbal communication is not taken into account by this model. After a while, communication fades away and they do not find anything intresting to talk about. Transitional model- face to face communication is a better option. It allows an indepth understanding of each other and it also allows greater influence through communication.

Transitional model of communication is often used when  negotiating or carryiong out important deals and aggrements in the buisness world. It encompasses ethos, pathos and logos when used to persuade, influence or exert a force on a person while communicating. This is evidently seen when a person in authority gives a speech. Some examples are, the different parties during election, the government, religious group leaders, business associates and even bosses in companies. Public speaking is an extremely crucial skill that is needed in a person holding an important post. Thus, success is dependent on our ability to speak. With less youth engaging in face-face communication, not many will be able to cope with the roles in the working world.

Communication is also important in maintaining relationships. Mother and child relationship, friendships, boy-girl relationship or relatives. We all maintain relationships through communication. Both verbal and non-verbal communication is important. Face to face communication is very important in maintaining ties. Eye-contact, touch and expressions are very important to a child. They feel safe and comforted when we engage with face to face communication with them.  According to Knapp’s theory, a relationship reaches stagnation and finally reaches avoidance when the channels of communication are sealed. We communicate to learn about each other, to share experiences and information. According to Duck’s filltering theory, we choose who to engage in a relationship with based on proximity and frequency of contact, prior to interaction. This shows that being able to engage in face-face communication is important. This is also why long distance relationships are difficult to maintain. 

Relying on technology to communicate is not sufficient. Over- reliance has also killed the desire and need to communicate. Nowadays, personal blogs are becoming increasingly popular. One talks about himself/herself and the others read about them. This further restricts communication because there is very little interaction between them and the people reading about them. They could be strangers too and thus have nothing in particular to communicate with the writer. Such activities further kills the creativity and skills for engaging conversation among youths today. Youths today have to understand that face-face communication is still the most important mode of communication. It brings back the purpose for communication.



{March 4, 2008}   Effects of Mass media

Mass media comes in the form of the television programmes, news updates, internet, radio channles, magazines and advertisments that reach out to the public. They are used for many different reasons. We may not realise it, but mass media is extremely influential. It is the most influential and the most important mode of recieving or sharing information. From the latest happenings around the world, to the cheapest deals in town, we get our information from the mass media. Everyone in Singapore, Australia, France, Indonesia, Malaysia and many more countries have heard of the escape of the JI leader from Singapore’s custody. Security at the borders of some of these countries have tightened because information was passed to them via mass media. Without the use of mass media, we would not be able to know what is happening around the world. From the slightest thing such as the first new year baby or the leap year baby, to big things such as terrorism and global warming, we get our information from the media. We sign up for valentines packages because the advertisments influence us to do so. We buy the latest handphone model because the media says it is the latest and has great functions. If not for the media, we would not even know the different brands or the availability of latest models. We would not know that there had been a Sars outbreak in another country and we would not get quick information of the changes made to our laws and policies.Elections would never be the same again. People would not know about the different parties involved. In bigger countries such as the US, they depend on the mass media to convey message about their own country’s progress and happenings. It would be impossible to convey messages to millions of people with efficiency if there was no mass media. Mass media is also a huuge form of entertainment. We get live telecasts of sports such as Golf and Soccer. It adds to a lifestyle of a person. Fans are born due to the availability of mass media. Rock concerts, western hip-hop lifestyles and Manchester or Liverpool supporters have become part of our lifestyle here in Singapore. Without the internet or the television for the telecast of the programmes, we would never be part of this culture. Fans gather and support their favourite teams. They talk and share their passion for a particular sport or lifestyle. They get influenced and spend money to purchase outfits to look and behave like their idols. This is all made possible through media. If we were never exposed to a different culture, we would never indulge in something different.

It was reported in The New Paper, that South Koreans would soon rely on the internet connection to their televisions for studying. This is a new educational move made to lower the cost of education and provide flexibility in learning. Many intrested companies have agreed to upgrade their internet-powered televisions to further enhance this use. In South Korea, education is expensive. Private tutors earn as much as bankers. The educational internet TV would lower the cost of education and possibly eliminate the need for tution. Students simply need to switch on their television sets in the comfort of their home and enjoy online studying. Educational programmes, games, puzzles and even online tutoring programme would be available. This is so flexible that students of any level, which means even adults wanting to upgrade themselves, may do so with this system. The cost is low and the time and mode of study is flexible. Families with more than one child may save alot more on their children’s education. However, some parents are feeling insecure with the idea of their children studying at home, in front of the television via a remote control. This programme however, does not replace normal school studies.  School going is still important but tution programmes may be replaced with this idea. The online-television programme is estimated to reach a market of more than 55million worldwide by 2011. The number of subscribers in South Korea is estimated to be about 3million by end of this year and 5 million by 2009. This article shows us how mass media such as the internet, can allow for efficient and accurate flow of information to hetrogeneous and anonymous audiences. The fact that the launch of this programme is known to people in South Korea shows us that mass media was used when advertising and making known this new programme to the audience. Sitting in Singapore, we are aware of the new updates and development in Korea because the mass media such as the newspapers allow us access to such information. In the article it says that this move is expected to be applauded by people from around the world. This can only be possible if people from around the world knows about this programme. To make it known, they would advertise it through the media and provide articles with sufficient information to persuade the audience to sign up for it. Emhasise will be give on the positive aspects of this programme. Exaggeration and biasness will be evident in the the advertisments. The main target audience would be the parents of school-going children. Rising costs of living will make the cost of this programme sound good. Parents will also be comfortable with the idea of the flexibility of the time and the reliability of the programme. Using ethos, the source will make use of credible researches and analysts to give positive comments about the use of this programme. Benefits towards the child’s development and grades will be emphasised. Lack of time to fix tutions for students due to the hectic schedules in schools will also sway parents into thinking that their children would be allowed sufficient rest and less stress if they learn through puzzles and quizzes at home any time they are free.



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