We all know the benefits of modern technology as it pertains to communication. I once asked an Irish priest to tell me the greatest thing about America. “It’s the communication,” he said. E-mails, cell phones, text messaging and Facebook have changed us, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.
We have class discussion about the advantages of “synchronous” and “asynchronous communication.” There’s a great chart about this on page 49 of the textbook. Communicators must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each medium. Examples of synchronous communication (communicating in real time) are face-to-face, telephone and video conferencing, and sometimes text messaging and twitter. Asynchronous communication describes voice mail, e-mail, hard copy (like a letter), and sometimes text messaging and twitter.
The richest form of communication is face-to-face, because it includes the greatest number of nonverbal cues. About 85 percent of our communication is nonverbal. With face-to-face communication you have the greatest control over the receiver’s attention.
The second richest form of communication is the telephone, because at least you can hear the other communicator’s vocal cues and you know the other person is on the phone with you. Text messaging, e-mail and twitter are the least rich forms of communication. The advantages of these asynchronous forms of communication are that you have the greatest control over the message you send and you can perform other chores while you communicate. But you have no control over the receiver’s attention and the communication is not as rich. The textbook points out that, “Most mediated messages can be hard to interpret,” so be careful with things like humor.
Some terms to consider when using mediated communication:
Permanence – the fact that social media can be stored and even forwarded to others. Text messages, e-mails, and Facebook posts all fit this category....