Have you ever felt uncomfortable in an elevator, so you pulled out your phone to see if someone messaged you? Have you ever walked with your phone in hand, ready to use, just in case you needed to look distracted? Maybe you haven’t, but you have probably watched someone else do these things, or at least have noticed someone deliberately try not to make eye contact with you. Something is going on with us and it is becoming more and more noticeable.
What I am talking about is people not being able to talk to each other anymore.
With the rise of technology and social media, a majority of our interactions with other people take place on a screen. This issue has ultimately impacted our ability to communicate meaningfully with others.
I am not saying that technology and social media is bad. It allows us to communicate more than ever with people and allows us to stay in touch with people with ease. These now-common methods of connecting are incredible, but it is no secret that they have also contributed to many issues people now face. Communication concerns are one of them.
How does social media impact our communication?
The impact of social media on communication and social skills can easily be observed. People have a difficult time holding conversations face-to-face and lack the skills to interact with others. It has become easier for us to keep to ourselves and use social media to interact quickly, from behind a screen. Face-to-face communications open us up to being unfiltered; but everything we post and text, we can filter, so communicating in person has become uncomfortable. The amount of time that is spent communicating over social media continues to increase as the engagement in meaningful conversations decreases. This fact is an issue that we need to face and that we have the power to change.
Why is face-to-face communication important?
We have become so used to sharing information and communicating over social media with people we may barely know that face-to-face conversations have become secondary. But the fact of the matter is, that face-to-face communication cannot be replaced.
To develop real and meaningful relationships, in-person interaction and conversation is essential.
With social media being the main form of communication, interviews have become harder, meeting new people in person has become harder, and it may be the case that being ourselves has also become a challenge.
Why does PRISM matter?
The good news is that we can change this problem. We have the power to keep our phones in our bags or pockets when we are walking. We have the power to deal with the anxiety of meeting a new person and to have meaningful conversations without our phones in our hands. PRISM Networking is an incredible tool for people to use, to challenge ourselves to meet people in person and build genuine, meaningful relationships again. People matter to people, and we need a real connection with each other. Sometimes we may need a little reminder to reach out to someone, to actually see them, and PRISM is here to help with that connection. We want to reflect color back into relationships because at PRISM, we care about you.
Tips to help you
- Call people more often. Everyone knows it’s nicer to hear someone’s voice ask “how are you?” than read it in a text message.
- Keep your phone in your bag or pocket when you are walking. You never know who you may meet.
- Try to minimize the time you spend on social media. There are excellent apps and features on your phone to help you do this.
- Try to have more face-to-face conversations. The PRISM Networking Guide might be helpful to read.
- Put your phone away when you are with someone. It is hard to focus on building a meaningful relationship if you are more interested in looking at the notifications on your phone.