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Communication in Society and the Effects of Technology

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Communication is an act which we cannot evade, we communicate in everything that we do (Hayes & Orell 2003). However, this does not mean that it is an effortless process. The nature of social interaction will vary according to the characteristics of the people and the environment with which the transaction occurs, for example an infant may cry to express its hunger to its mother or an adolescent may wear odd shoes to convey their individuality.

Humans have the ability to communicate effectively using highly developed language furthermore by including emotive words. We extend and refine our communication to a higher level of detail and understanding by supporting verbal with non-verbal communication. Non-verbal cues such as paralanguage for example the timing of responsive questions, as well as eye contact, facial expression, posture, gestures, touch, proxemics and dress all enhance the verbal message being transmitted. (Hayes & Orrell 2003)

Individual lifestyles require interaction within a variety of groups all with diverse needs; within these groups an individual is required to communicate in accordance with their corresponding identity. For the purpose of this essay and to successfully highlight areas of my communication skills which could be improved I will discuss six communication elements and contrast their application within different settings.

Whilst our class shares a common goal for collective development, various environmental and psychological preferences for learning are evident. A prevalent method for enhancing understanding, exposing individual biases, is group discussions. Whilst I consider these invaluable, having participated in on-line study, my learning process was modified to work independently. Neither process is right or wrong however in light of meeting the specific communication needs of fellow CCAE students I am required to adapt my learning technique to become more actively involved in the discussion process as appose to the non-communicative technique of reading and absorbing in my own time.

Whilst each class-members contribution is beneficial it can often present communication barriers. Our individual socialization: different ages, family backgrounds, education and experience bring with it varied perceptions and consequently a distinctive emotional intelligence. The way I receive the perception of another requires some consideration to their background. This understanding will also increase my attentiveness to their non-verbal communication when they express their perception.

Informal networking is also a prevalent preference for many in maximising their learning within the group. In order for these interactions to occur effectively it is vital I make myself physically available or recognise someone else who is doing likewise; being aware of static and dynamic non-verbal communication, facial expression, posture and eye contact are cues which can be exercised or noticed in seeking someone who is ready to communicate. Informal interviews present an opportunity for validating understanding. An interview relies on the interpretation of non-verbal communication. Displaying active listening through body language, paralanguage, pausing, reflective responding and paraphrasing will encourage and sustain the continuation of the interview. Access to these physical cues is unavailable in the on-line learning environment,



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