Is Technology Undermining our Ability to Communicate?

The digital revolution has given us new tools to meet people and stay in touch.  From video conferencing to social networking, it would appear that we are more connected globally then at any other time in history.  And, although technology has shrunk our world, the question I have been pondering is whether or not we actually have become more connected or less.

Technology has changed the way we relate to each other — at home and at work.    Cell phones, smartphones, e-mail, tablets, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and a wide range of other tools provide us with immediate and constant access to friends, family and  coworkers. But fewer and fewer people are using these tools to actually talk to each other.   Instead, they are texting, emailing, posting, tweeting and instant messaging. For more and more of us, technology may actually be damaging our relationships with others.   Especially when we begin to consider our interpretations (mind reading) of someone’s non verbal intention.

E-mailing, posting, tweeting, instant messaging and texting eliminate eye contact, posture, vocal nuances and other physical and audio cues people rely on when building trust and establishing social relationships.   The ability to understand and use non-verbal communication is a powerful tool in helping connect with others, express what we really mean, navigate challenging personal situations, and build trust.

I recently delivered a keynote on what we might want to start considering in respect of improving our communication intentions on a digital platform.  I believe that the first step is to influence the optics of the communication and that requires us to pay attention to our audience’s needs.  Many who attended the keynote asked for the notes.  I thought others might be interested as well, so…. I am sharing them here – on a digital platform!  I welcome your insights and comments.

Comm & Tech presentation notes – grab the pdf by clicking on this link. (Comm-Tech-presentation-notes.pdf)

Let’s keep the discussion churning!