{March 4, 2008}   Lack of face-face communication among youths???


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.


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