The 21st Century is fascinating. We have technologies that allow us to communicate instantly with anyone around the globe, and we oftentimes leverage that in our professional and personal lives. This capability allows us to operate exponentially faster than we could a few short decades ago. However, that instantaneous connection comes at a price. Instead of thoughtfully putting pen to paper and crafting logical, reflective, well thought out messages, we can get caught up in communicating while riding whatever emotional wave the topic elicits. We see this in texts, emails, tweets, etc…and even in the face to face communications that have been influenced by “the new normal” of speedy transmission. In all such communications, once the words are out of the mouth or in whatever technology is used, it can’t be reeled back in. Much like this metaphor, it is now toothpaste out of the tube! In addition, much like the difficult job of cleaning a toothpaste stain, it takes a lot of energy and time to attempt to clean up the inevitable mess that results from communicating in an emotional state of mind without benefit of a cooling off period. The good news is, this is a choice! As humans, we have the power of free will and we can choose to forego the tendency to react in the moment, opting instead for a reflection period, a “stabilizing period”, and then a reasoned response. Having the discipline to choose thoughtful action over emotional reaction can make all the difference!
Above makes a great and very true point about communication.
Communication has changed quickly in a short period of time. People are quickly to communicate through texting or social media sites without properly thinking about their choice of words, spelling, grammar, etc. The message is instantly sent and delivered, distance not being a barrier. The days of writing a hand written letter, licking an envelope, putting a stamp on it, and placing it in the mailbox are long gone. Instant communication through an electronic media source is what the younger generation has grown up with. It has been incredible to witness the difference in how they communicate via social media verse in person communication.
Young people struggle to handle and deal with conflict of any kind, face-to-face. They find it is easier to hide behind words on a screen. They do not see the reaction or effects of their words. These words have caused a lot of discipline for students. Many of times students find themselves in sticky situations because of something that was tweeted, posted, sent, or snapped. The thought process time does not exist, therefore they do before they think. This causes a problem for them in life after structured school. Young people need to learn how to emotional and verbally handle conflict and conversations. Life skills are a necessity!