Redefining Social Norms
Technology has definitely enriched our lives. It has also helped some to escape a bit of the isolation and loneliness that comes with these uncertain times. You can make friends with someone on the other side of the world from the comfort of your own home. It makes it possible to develop lasting and real connections in a fast paced world. I have developed meaningful friendships while gaming that are just as dear to me as friends I met in high school. Maintaining these relationships is possible, but technology does force you to make some changes to the way you interact.
Perception Is Everything
When speaking in person, we can evaluate the true meaning of words based on body language and other cues such as vocal inflection. Written words do not provide the same luxury. The recipient has to decode the meaning without tone of voice or facial expressions, which are vital indicators. This can lead to unintentional misunderstandings when it comes to sarcasm. It is important to make use of emojis to help convey the correct context. It is also important to use correct capitalization and not capitalize every letter. Keep in mind, most of the population will interpret all capitals as yelling. When dealing with other cultures, pay attention to sayings. A phrase commonly known where you live, may be unknown or have an alternate meaning to someone in another country.
Less is more
When writing, many have a tendency to use longer phrases and complicated words. While this works when writing a paper, it doesn’t work as well in texts. The best approach is to make your point in fewer words. People do not want to read a paragraph to understand your meaning. If a longer explanation is necessary, it should probably be done over a different format like over Skype or Discord. There are plenty of apps available to allow free calls to other countries. Make your friendship a priority and find what works.
The best rule of thumb in communication is don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are not sure you understand, then ask for clarification. It is best to avoid hurt feelings or disagreements that are unnecessary. Any good friend will be happy to explain themselves for your benefit. Be willing to offer the same in return. Friendship is a two way street.
There are some limitations with internet friendships. They are not without their challenges, and many of these are magnified by the fact that it is long distance. Get creative and find new ways to “hang out” with each other. I like to get together for movie nights over the mic. This is simple to do with apps like Netlix and Hulu available on most consoles and devices and can help to bring you closer. The internet offers a chance to connect with people you may never have been able to otherwise. Celebrate this and enjoy your time together in new exciting ways. Open your mind and your heart. You never know what you will find.
Article by: Trixie 770