Communication Expectations And How They Have Changed

2223 words - 9 pages

I feel like I am stuck in between two different generations, and two different ways of life. As a part of the digital advancement I take full advantage of all the digital resources presented to me. However, I also grew up long enough without all the social media that I understand the importance of face-to-face personal communication. The world my parents and grandparents grew up in is far different than the world my teenage brother is currently growing up in. I sit and think of my generation and it is almost as if we are the transitional generation between the two opposites. One world revolved around a slower paced yet more personal society and the other is now a faced paced, on demand, high speed, get what I want when I want it, but more virtual society. I admit many people in my age group fall into both generations depending on which behaviors they adapted in the world we grew up in, but as for myself, I find that I am in a place that neither my parents nor brother completely understand.
Our world has constantly changed since the beginning of time, but it is now changing more rapidly than ever before. This rapid change is due to the increased amount of technology and digital access that we have in devices small enough to fit into our pocket. While these great technological advances have furthered many aspects of our lives and improved much of society in general, there are some areas that have been negatively changed due to the influence of the digital world. W. Bernard Carlson, a professor of technology at the University of Virginia said, “Along with language, religion and social structure, technology is part of the culture of a given people and perhaps more than any other element, is used to shape and illustrate a society’s values and beliefs” (Crystal, 2006). As beneficial as some technological advances have been, the negative effects might be even more important. One of the most significant societal impacts of the digital world is how communication expectations have been changed. This change has impacted communication by how we socially approach people we don't know, how communication is now more focused on convenience and control, and how communication is all about quantity rather than quality.
As I walk through the grocery store or go about running my daily errands I frequently cross paths with other people. Occasionally, I will strike up a conversation with these people just to be friendly. It is never a get to know you or exchange personal information type of conversation, it is more along the lines of a 10 second interchange between two strangers just to acknowledge the existence of one another. I learned this behavior from my father, as I observed him engaging in similar behavior as I grew up. Whether it was the person behind us in line or someone shopping for the same thing, he would make a simple friendly remark, engage in a short conversation, and then be on his way. This was the norm in the world my father...

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