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Cyber or real communication?

So what is wrong with the communication that is going very-very cyber away? Well, let’s find out.

Image: Pexels

Online is where we all go hang out these days. Forget the outdoor games, clubbing or camping — more and more people (especially the young generation) will gladly switch their real lives for those sweets moments of scrolling down the Facebook feed or testing new face apps to see what we’ll look like in 50 years.

Virtual is where we live, and this is what can damage our abilities to communicate when we face real-life situations with real humans, whose behavior cannot be predicted, programmed or blacklisted “just because.” Another threat of virtual life is that it gives a lot of freedom to scorn, mock, or bully other users, and this is where G. Orwell’s Animal Farm stops being just a fiction text.

And this is just one example of the many. So what is wrong with the communication that is going very-very cyber away?

Online is Anonimous

You might have the profile page with your photo, all information full and correct, but is it really you who posts all those cat pics, comments on 9GAG’s videos or retweets Trump’s hilariousness (pun intended)? The thing here is that cyberspace gives amazing opportunity to be anonymous in the public, to be a kind of éminence grise who can do blackmailing, posting, or bullying others without being caught and charged.

The worst part? It’s already something that the communication researchers are worried about. If you ask any Communications students, (s)he will provide you tons of free bullying essays (s)he had written during her first year of study.

Why? Because this is a huge problem that poses even greater threats for both online users and those who prefer to keep things real. Bullying, to put it mildly, is something that can destroy your good name, career, public image, and life, and its victims don’t write an essay about it — they write reports to the police. But it’s very hard to find somebody without ID, with a fake IP address, and a remote server, right?

Cyber is Limited

In-person communication is paramount for humans as members of society. This is where we learn about how others perceive the information, their reactions to it, their true feelings. For example, one can read about cyber bullying on the web or in college essay, but when you listen to the story from the person who had suffered from it, your understanding of the issue will be totally different. Cyber lacks feelings, it rarely triggers empathy and compassion. And this is not only about bullying.

Cyber is Suggested

When we talk to our neighbors in person, we can have difficulties in understanding what they meant, even if they expressed their thoughts using words, gestures, intonations, etc. In cyberspace, we have only typed words, and they limit our ability to comprehend what was said.

This incomplete picture bears misunderstanding between the participants that, oftentimes, grows into conflicts, feuds, hate, essay about bullying. One can say “this is not what I meant” but it is already too late — the conclusions are made, the damage is done. And who is to blame? Punctuation, we knew it was you!

Cyber is Cyber, Real is…Real

It’s not that we are saying that online communication is fake, and it’s the root of the evil. We can’t imagine the modern office to have briefs held in-person. It would be impossible to arrange master classes, training, and workshops that would require our physical presence only.

Cyber communication gives us a lot of opportunities and, alas, it also poses a lot of danger to its users. In real communication, it’s easier to identify who you are talking to, to understand the message, to check if you got it correctly, to figure out accents and main idea. In other words, it provides you with a clear vision of what is going on between you and the other.

If we were to suggest a solution to “What communication type one should stick to?”, we’d say: if your aim is to inform and do it faster — go online, but if you are looking for something real, fulfilling, and, well, human — go outside.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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