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The World is a diverse place; there are different cultures in the world. There is often transmission of ideas, values, and meanings around the world that is intended to extend as well as intensify social relations (Martin, 2014). There is a change in economic, social and technological events because of these changes in culture. There is creation and expansion of social relations which is not only observed on a material level. The cultural globalization can be said to involve the formation of different shared norms as well as knowledge where people can be able to associate the individual and several different collective cultural identities.
When it comes to the economy, a visible aspect of importance of culture can be seen in the diffusion of different companies all over the world (Martin, 2014). There is, for this reason, an exchange in ideas regarding economic, and the consumers regardless of their nationalities can understand several economic policies and there is a spread of this important factors (Martin, 2014).
For example, there is also differences when it comes to communication, for example, North Korea did not take lightly the matter of their Supreme Leader being ridiculed in a movie. This led to a diplomatic spat where North Korea decided to hack Sony’s entertainment. Sony has decided to ban the movie in respect to North Korea. It is, for this reason, important to understand that culture does indeed play a very big role when it comes to technology.
Intercultural communication is extremely important in any sphere. There is often a need to be sensitive when it comes to talking to other persons that are of a different cultural background. This is because persons are different and things that might be offensive in one culture might not be in another. The communication often aims to share information on different cultures, as well as social groups. It is in many cases used to describe the different wide ranges of communication as well as problems that appear naturally because of having persons with different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds (Robinson, 2011).
It has been arguing that intercultural communication often determines how individuals can encode messages, the medium chosen for transmitting information and the interpretation of the message. In the broader sense, it is of the essence to also understand that intercultural communication is important as it gives opportunity for persons to understand why certain people act in the way they do and why they should be understood from their behavior.
For example, there are situations where, for example, an outsourcing company might face problems in the country that they are outsourcing to. These problems might be solved by effective and efficient communication with the persons. This at times may need for the two persons involved in the communication to better understand their different cultures.
It is important to critically note that the problems that often come with intercultural communication mainly comes from problems involving message transmission. This is because when information is passed, the way the message is interpreted and understood by the receiver is often at many times likely to be similar and clear. However, this is different when the person is from a different culture (Peterson, 2010). This is because the receiver often uses information from their culture to interpret their message. There are instances where the message, that the receiver interprets, is different from what was initially intended by the speaker.
There is, for this reason, a need to understand that indeed effective communication often depends on the informal understanding among different parties that are involved and based on the trust developed by them. It is of the essence to note that when there is an implicit understanding of communication, the cultural differences might at times be overlooked and in these situations a problem can be dealt with easily.
Peterson., (2010) Intercultural communication. SAGE: New York.
Robinson., (2011) Importance of intercultural communication in a growing world. McGraw-Hill: New York.
Martin., (2014) Culture and business: Aspen Publishers: Chicago.
Technology is the current phenomenon consisting of social networking (which consists of web-based communication with the internet and interaction through cell phones). Research carried out revealed those 18-24 years old individuals sent or received an average of 100 text messages per day. On the other hand, the research revealed that about 14% of the global population used the internet as their means of interaction. The purpose of this research paper is to identify the use of social network cites in communication and the general attribute it has on interpersonal communication. With this study, it reveals that generation Y individuals highly participate in daily social networking activities at higher rates as compared to other cases in the past.
Interpersonal communication refers to the exchange of information between two or more people. During this process of interpersonal communication, there is the exchange of message from the sender to the receiver (Birchmeier, 2011). There are different methods of interpersonal communication. They can either be direct or indirect communication. Other than the exchange in information between people, with interpersonal communication, there is the exchange of feelings between people. Interpersonal communication is different from other methods in that it does not only pertain on the language used by the parties involved but also deals with how the message reaches the receiver (Phillips,1990).
This implies that interpersonal communication puts into consideration the tone of the language used, facial expressions gestures and as well body language used in communication. Technology on the other hand refers to the art of making, modifying and as well using the knowledge of tools and techniques with tan aim of solving problems and improving some existing solutions towards some problems existing among people. Technology is an art that has a great influence on interaction between different people. With the continuing economic development and technological advancement, interpersonal communication faces some challenges. In addition, there is a great change in interpersonal communication. While understanding on the effects of technology on the interpersonal skills, it is important to understand both the negative and positive impacts that technology has on interpersonal communication. The paper focuses on the effects of technology on interpersonal communication on generation Y (Birchmeier, 2011).
Positive effects of technology on interpersonal communication
Over the past decade, there are some changes experienced in the daily activities carried out by generation Y individuals. Among many youth, in the 20th century, connection between them has a characteristic of face-to-face interaction or using other landline telephones (Birchmeier, 2011). Social networks on the other hand is another factor that has a great influence in interaction between those living in different regions (Borgman, 2003). Through social networks, there is an increase in support exchange and as well improvement in individual relationships between generation Y members.
In the past years before the invention of these methods of communication, maintenance of these relationships was mainly through interpersonal or other conventional telephone contacts between people. However, with the high growth of the internet access, software availability, advancements in cell phone technology and as well increased population exposure to the internet on the other hand leads to an increase in reliance of technology in the maintenance of communication and relationships between people (Wood, 2010).
Currently, the use of technology (example being the internet) is more than any other method used during communication and as well socialization. Studies reveals that communication technology is increasing at a high rate as the generation changes. On the other hand, the use of technology-based methods of communication is more among the youths than any other population group. There are changes in communication between business parties. Through the internet, it is possible for sharing of files and access of data through remote login. On the other hand, through commercialization of the internet, there is the creation of emails and as well World Wide Web. This on the other hand, comes because of incorporation of technology in interpersonal communication (Birchmeier, 2011).
Interpersonal communication is an important aspect of life. Other than the exchange of information between people involved in the communication process, there are other important aspects of communication between people (West, 2011). Sharing of ideas is an aspect of communication incorporated and attributed to the advancement in technology and as well rise in the interactions between people. On the other hand, while considering the role played by interpersonal communication, people involved in this type of communication get equipped with the skills enabling them to have an effective interaction with each other during the communication process (DeVito, 2009). More so, while using interpersonal communication, it becomes easier for the parties involved in the communication process to express their feelings and emotions. Therefore, despite technology methods of communication incorporation in the communication process, interpersonal communication remains significant and plays a great role in the society (Wood, 2010).
Despite the roles played by interpersonal communication between people, it is hard imagining of life without technology. That is life with no television, computers, and cell phones and as well air conditioners. Life appears hard without incorporation of technology. Therefore, it is true that technology plays a great role in our lives and we gave a great reliance on technology in our daily activities. Interaction between youth using technology boosts interpersonal relationships but on the other hand acts as a destroyer to interpersonal communication between people. While using technology in the daily communication, it is important to be aware of the impact that it has on people and as well on the interactions between people (Borgman, 2003).
Through technology, there is a great improvement in the modes of interaction between people. With the internet, there is an improvement in the method of sharing of information. The internet remains to be one of the most powerful things invented by human beings (Wood, 2010). Through the internet, people are able to access what seems to be hard to access. In addition, there is an improvement in research methods used by researchers since they can gather information in a matter of seconds.
This is in contrast with research methods used before the invention of the internet that made research more hectic and as well expensive. This is an important aspect of technology experienced by researchers. Being part of communication technology, it has granted people an ability of getting more precise information and data regarding to a given topic unlike while involving them in some interpersonal interrogations. Therefore, considering research, technology has a positive impact on interpersonal communication since research through the internet are more reliable and less expensive as compared to those carried out through interpersonal communication method (DeVito, 2009).
Business communication is another mode of communication experiencing some effects resulting from the high use of technology methods. Through emails and chat, business people remain in touch with each other without literally seeing each other (West, 2011). More so, using technology there is improvement in the process of job applications and as well their advertisement. With the use of technology in while carrying out business activities, conducting of meetings through video conferences is possible (Birchmeier, 2011). This is an easier method of carrying out business deals in a more effective and easier way without travelling to the offices. With job applicants, they are able to carry out their interviews through the internet therefore being able to deal with their nervousness with their one-on-one interviews. Therefore, with the use of technology in the business world, there have been some improvements in the methods of striking deals and as well recruitment of employees. This is a more reliable method of carrying out business activities as compared tom the interpersonal communication method (Phillips,1990).
Interpersonal communication is a method of communication faced by a barrier challenge. Parties involved in the communication process often experience some challenges arising from the receiver or the sender (Wood, 2010). The most common challenge experienced by people communicating is language barrier. More so, cultural barriers (mostly experienced by business people working in different regions) and channel barriers (mostly experienced by poor choice of the method of communication used by people involved in the communication process). Lastly, there are physical barriers experienced during communication of people living in different regions.
Geographical separation is one factor that describes physical barriers experienced while using interpersonal communication. However, with the use of technology methods of communication, it is possible to deal with these barriers. Communication is easier and faces no barriers as compared to interpersonal communication used without the use of technology methods. Therefore, with the use of technology, there is an improvement and as well establishment of a more reliable and easy way of communicating with people from different regions (Borgman, 2003).
Through communication technology methods, it is easy for longing children to talk to their parents through Skype, IM or even Facebook. However, this method of interaction between people is never the same with talking personally. Maintaining friendship using the technology is easier and less expensive. People do not have to travel in order to meet. Through the video calling, they can freely talk. On the other hand, friends are able to express their emotions through blogs. This is similar to people aiming at sharing their ideas to others. Lastly, those in offices can simply share their ideas and messages to others without interfering with their duties. This improves idea-sharing mechanism and as well improves interpersonal relationships between people. Therefore, technology methods of communication has a great improvement on maintenance of friendship relationships and as well sharing of ideas (West, 2011).
Personal interaction is always an important function of human experience (DeVito, 2009). Prior to the invention of and revolution of personal computers and cell phones, personal relationships remained under face-to-face interaction and verbal or written communication (Wood, 2010). However, with the development of the information age (technology), personal interaction and relationships have a characteristic of having an ability to access and exchange information through technology freely and more conveniently as compared to prior sharing of information before the invention of technology (West, 2011). Currently, there are some changes experienced while different societies are interacting with each other.
Impacts experienced by the society using technology do not face a limit in the methods of communication, but spread into the manner how individuals in the society feel while using technology, their thinking of technology, and as well how they adapt to the changes in technology in the society. In other words, people learn how to think and feel the way they do depending on the messages they receive through the current technology. Changes in the channel used in communication has a direct impact on the messages received by the receiver. If the channel used is impersonal, then the message itself is impersonal (Birchmeier, 2011).
Unlike face-to-face communication used before the incorporation of communication technology methods, with the use of technology methods, there is an improvement while sending urgent message (DeVito, 2009). The use of cell phones and internet based communication channels, makes generation Y have an ability to communicate conveniently with each other in a fast and more convenient manner. While using cell phones, it is not only fast but also cheap. More so, it is hard imagining how generation Y could have their interaction with people from other regions without the use of instant messages (IM) and Facebook platforms. Through these channels, they are able to maintain and carry out their communication without a need of travelling and posting letters, which might be time consuming. Technology platforms of communication gives generation Y an opportunity to interact with others from other geographical regions (Birchmeier, 2011).
Through blogs generation, Y has an opportunity of expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings in a simple manner (Wood, 2010). With the use of social media and other technology channels, getting someone to date is becoming easier. This is an advantage to generation Y as during their leisure time they have an opportunity of mingling with other people and making new friends. Dating and chatting websites such as Facebook and Instagram play a very crucial role in dating in generation Y. in additional, technology is the rational behind the success of long distance relationships in generation Y (West, 2011). This is an advantage of technology in interpersonal communication between people. Online dating is easier as compared to face-to-face dating that involves lovers to travel over long distance with aims of meeting with each other. However, with the use of technology communication methods there is an improvement while starting up and maintaining these relationships (Phillips,1990).
Considering the rate of decision making of generation Y individuals, it is clear that technology has a direct influence on decision-making process that generation Y individuals engage in. This triggers development and progress of the world. Among businesspersons, engaging in video conferencing plays a considerate role in promoting faster decision making as compared to face-to-face communication methods in the business. Generation Y is a generation with an opportunity of changing the information sharing methods in the world and as well coming up with new problem solving methods. Therefore, with the high reliance on technology-based communication channels, they have an opportunity of adapting to challenges and as well able to share ideas and information sharing in a more reliable manner.
Despite the stated advantages experienced while using technology-based communication methods in interpersonal communication, there are also some negative impacts that technology has on interpersonal communication. It is quite clear that technology is a good of evil. That is it has its own advantages and as well its shortcomings (DeVito, 2009). While investigating on the negative effects resulting from reliance of generation Y on technology, it is important to examine first the relationship between the internet and the aspects of social involvement and as well, the psychological well-being of generation Y. with generation Y, there is an association between increased internet use and decreased social involvement. In addition, feeling more lonely and increase in depressive symptoms is another factor attributed to reliance on internet among generation Y. Study conducted on a sample population reveals that high internet use has a relation with a decrease in communication between family members (West, 2011).
Negative effects of technology on interpersonal communication
The main disadvantage experienced by generation Y comes about because of the issue of cyber bullying. Many young people interact through social networking platforms that do not give them an opportunity of meeting with them physically (Wood, 2010). While developing relationships over the internet, there are high chances of mistrust. Generation Y using social networking platforms easily cheat on their identity leading to cases of mistrust among them. Study reveals that there exists large data and cases of negative aspects of social networking and incidences of cyber bullying and victimization of the users.
With the advancement of technology, there is the opening of new ways of sharing information and ideas using electronics, texting through cell phones and as well posting comments or some videos on websites. Traditionally, the youth faced bullying from others through face-to-face interaction. Research reveals that there exists a prevalence of occurrence of cyber bullying ranging from 15-32%. National survey conducted on the youth revealed that there are twice as many youth reported as victim of harassment in the year of 2005 as compared to cases reported in 2000. This reveals that cyber bullying increases with the advancement of communication technology (West, 2011).
On the other hand, the issue of cyber abuse (bullying, unwanted sexual advances and as well stalking) should have a serious approach method developed for dealing with them. This is due to the detrimental effects that they have on the victims. Victims of cyber abuse often suffer from feelings such as depression, guilt, shame, and as well self-harm because of withdrawal from families and friends. Study reveals that youth (victims of text bullying) often feel more unsafe while at school as compared to others who are not victims of text bullying. Lastly, while considering online dating cases of generation Y, these relationships are often faced by complicated relationships due to feelings of isolation. More so, low self-esteem and poor social interaction skills also affect the manner in which generation Y interact through social networking platforms. It is through these online relationships that the youth face a risk of being victimized with cyber bullying and as well face risk of being victims of unwanted sexual advances and as well cyber stalking (Wood, 2010).
Successful interaction of people requires attainment of set skills. The ability to communicate with others and work through conflicts are some basic skills in life. Attaining these skills is through different avenues during someone’s development journey. Over the past years, there is a rise in computer use as a channel of communication among generation Y (Wood, 2010). The growth of computer use has a direct link with the rise and the use of the internet. While regarding to conflict solving, response to some hypothetical situations that involve conflicts is similar to responses observed in real-life conflicts (DeVito, 2009). This implies that there is need of incorporation of the hypothetical opportunities with an aim of presenting these skills while preparing generation Y individuals for real life situations.
However, with the presentation of the hypothetical situations used, their presentation is through a face-to-face interaction between the facilitator and the youth (Birchmeier, 2011). There lies a great concern with the continued reliance on technology methods of communication among the youth since there are some speculations that decline of face-to-face interaction results to a decrease in the ability of handling real-life conflicts. Study reveals that there is a high number of generation Y individuals face high cases of conflicts with their parents. In addition, these conflicts have a basis on the youth’s low levels of communication with their parents. On the other hand, research conducted on the effects of reliance of technology on interpersonal communication reveals that a high number of the youth who do not communicate with their parents. This is with despite being frightened and as well being aware of their pending danger (West, 2011).
While using interpersonal communication between people, there are high chances of having physical contact between people involved. However, with the use of technology methods, there is reduced physical contact between the communicating generation Y individuals (Wood, 2010). This implies that there is also a reduced social interaction as compared to the use of interpersonal communication. Consider socializing among generation Y individuals. With the use of technology methods of communication, life there is a great change in life. There are no social meetings and get-togethers (their frequency is decreasing at a high rate). Social interaction faces a negative influence from the use of technology methods of communication. Generation Y individuals often feel bothered by their online friends other than their real social life. On the other hand, due to lack of face-to-face meetings with other people interactions made by generation Y individuals through social media, have weak ties (Phillips,1990). That is individuals often fail to feel as personally connected, as they would feel while using face-to-face communication.
There is a tendency of losing the ability to understand other people’s nonverbal cues when communicating with another person face to face. This is because of reliance on written communication commonly used by the youths (generation Y) while communicating with others. They are losing the ability to understand and express their views without necessarily communicating to one another verbally. On the other hand, resulting from over reliance on computer based channels of communication, understanding important skills of interpersonal communication is leading to incompetence during verbal communication among the youth. Unlike generation Y other older generations can understand one another without speaking so much as little bits of body language could communicate so much. Due to their limited encounters with one another face-to-face generation Y have little or no knowledge on non-verbal communication. This consequently is a blow to their interpersonal relations with one another. This is a drawback of over reliance on technology related methods of communication used by this generation (West, 2011).
Technological communication has also caused addiction, which cause anxiety disorders. A good example is addiction to use of the internet and cell phones. Research carried out on a sample of youth revealed that almost 79% of generation Y members spend their nights on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Tweeter and Skype. This is resulting to addiction to online chatting with people from other regions. Because of this addiction, there are numerous strains experienced by the body (Borgman, 2003). In many cases, eye problems arise due to computer brightness. More so, some even experience backaches that result from remaining seated for long hours while using computers and as well while chatting with others. These disorders have a great negative impact not only to the individual suffering from it but also parents to the individual. While dealing with eye disorders and backache, there exists some costs encountered. Studies reveal that 5% of youths who extensively rely on computers for communication experience these disorders.
More so, other disorders arise due to over reliance on technology-oriented methods of communication. Unbelievably, despite the role played by technology in improving and promoting interpersonal communication, users often experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings often are detrimental to the esteem of these young lads. This leads to development of fear in the individual causing a hindrance when trying to communicate with their peers (DeVito, 2009). Fear of communicating with one another verbally can make an individual totally lose skills in interpersonal communication. Therefore, technology creates a hindrance to effective association between people due to feelings of loneliness, fear and isolation.
In addition, another effect arising due to reliance of technology as the channel of communication among generation Y is affecting of language majorly. The mode of writing used in technological communication is quite different compared to the speaking language. Technological communicating language involves mostly short forms and abbreviations that cause wrong interpretation, and as such, the purpose of communication fails (Borgman, 2003). With the continuous use of technological communication language, the normal speaking and writing language will fade eventually. On the other hand, with generation Y, it is hard for the individuals to interact with others of different age due to language barrier resulting to their reliance and adoption of shortened language through SMS and instant messages. Therefore, despite the role played by technology-on communication it also had a great impact on language use on generation Y. most of the individuals in this generation rarely differentiate and interact with others due poor language use.
Technology use has affected how people behave; their character traits are different. The use of text messages and online chatting are not genuine modes of communication, meaning that what a person may be saying may not necessarily what that person intends (DeVito, 2009). For instance, someone may be angered but send a polite message to the person on the other end. This means that avoiding interpersonal communication creates room for hiding human feelings. Technology is not considerate of that human aspect of socializing. Unlike technology modes of communication, interpersonal communication makes people have knowledge of each other and people cannot become hypocritical when facing one another because non-verbal cues can sieve in to truth. Therefore, with the use of technology-oriented methods of communication such as Facebook and Instant Messages, it is hard to learn the other person’s reaction since there is no direct face-to-face link between both parties.
Technological communication can be impolite at times. It can be vulgar because of the distance between the two communicating parties. There is no fear hurling abusive words to one another especially on social media, because the person abused may be unknown to you and it is easier having a war of words (Borgman, 2003). It only requires typing a few words to offend another person; this includes those who do not advantage to engage in a physical encounter with another being. The vulgar use of language causes inappropriateness during interpersonal communication between individuals who may have abused one another on social media and this enemity is not good for the peace of the society. Another instance of impoliteness caused by the technological gadgets is that they create hindrance for interpersonal communication by consuming all the attention of someone (Phillips,1990). For example, someone sending text messages or chatting via social media may ignore the presence of someone sitting next to him and probably communicating to them; this can be taken as impoliteness and is not good for interpersonal communication.
The youth is a group of people having a characteristic of facing easy influence. In addition, they are fond of swaying to any current trends. Technology, one of the most growing over time has influence on people over generations. Each generation bounds itself to fitting in the current trends. Over years, there is evolution of communication technologically. With the invention of mobile phones, people are continuously using it for making voice calls. Now with the spreading of internet connections and more social sites, generation Y has fully related to everything concerning the internet. As seen from the paper, it is true that despite the advantages resulting from technology use, it also has its drawbacks tom its users.
It is crucial for generation Y to understand the importance of interpersonal communication. More so, they should not under look interpersonal skills in their lives. It is important in that it enhances sociability and gives them an opportunity of getting information fully. The use of expressions and body language makes communication much easier and much understandable to the listener. The youth should at least balance the technological communication and the interpersonal communication to set enough time to socialize with friends. On the other hand, generation Y individuals should overcome fear and be free themselves to talking to other people despite their personal relationships between people.
Phillips, G. M., Wood, J. T., & Speech Communication Association. (1990). Speech communication: Essays to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Speech Communication Association. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Borgman, C. L. (2003). From Gutenberg to the global information infrastructure: Access to information in the networked world. Cambridge, Mass. [u. a.: MIT Press.
West, R. L., & Turner, L. H. (2011). Understanding interpersonal communication: Making choices in changing times. Boston: Wadsworth.
Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: Everyday encounters. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
DeVito, J. A. (2009). The interpersonal communication book. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Birchmeier, Z., Dietz-Uhler, B., & Stasser, G. (2011). Strategic uses of social technology: An interactive perspective of social psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press.
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