Chanel Cole is a communications professional with a BA in Mass Communication from Delaware State University. Chanel is the Associate Editor for KittyBradshaw.com, a lifestyle website based out of NY, and a freelance publicist. In her free time she loves sewing, writing, and spending time with loved ones.
With so many channels to communicate in this day in age, actual face to face conversation seems to be a lost art. I remember when the primary way to communicate with someone, was through a face to face conversation. Now we have so many different channels like, text, email, social media, video chat – I mean the list can go on. Not to mention that the channels I listed have multiple sources themselves, think about it Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ are all considered a medium of social media. But so my words are not interpreted the wrong way and I would just like to say that I find our ever evolving means of communication to be fantastic and extremely beneficial. I work in communications – so the new ways to communicate makes my job a lot easier. I absolutely love the fact that when my editor contacts me about something we need to put out, I am able to do just that and put it out to the public almost instantaneously. I also love that a heroic soldier from Oregon who is stationed in Afghanistan can video chat their spouse or children or parents, and through that medium they’re able to connect in a way that a telephone call or a letter just cannot provide. With that said, the same channels that were created to help people or enhance communication methods, in some ways are hindering many. Take for example I met up with a couple of college friends at a restaurant for dinner a week ago, and while we were at the table there were large periods of time where we all were in silence on our phones on Instagram. Now it doesn’t seem like a big deal – because it’s so common, but really what’s the point of meeting up for dinner to not talk and to be on our phones. In theory a person who wants to be zoned in on Instagram, can do that at home – and save money on food. Or let’s try this, how many of you made your last “date-night” arrangements via text? Raise your hand, I’m sure the people around you in Starbucks will think you are stretching – at least that’s what I am pretending to do. But seriously how much more special would that encounter have been if the person would have asked you during a face to face conversation? No tweets, texts, emails, BBMs, just good old fashion face to face conversation, where you can get a real emotion out of someone instead of having to assume the tone or context of the person you’re conversing with. And I know sometimes that people are in predicaments where email or text may be their only option for that period of time, but what’s the excuse for the person who decides to send a text, although they had ample time to hold a short or long conversation. I actually read an article where a survey was done and the majority of people said they rather text someone then to pick up the phone and talk or meet up face to face with someone. WOW, ladies and gents – this is the reality that we live in. These subconscious actions, that are all so commonly used, are killing the skills of basic human interaction. So I challenge you, this week when you’re contacting people, whether it be with a significant other, friend, family member, or even your professor – go see them and talk, face to face, and if you’re in predicament where you’re unable to physically get to them – pick up the phone, dial their number – and talk. Trust me, someone would rather hear your good news from your mouth, rather than from their inbox.