Bridging the Communication Gap

Bridging the Communication Gap

Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1897-6.ch001
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Overview

This chapter will address the beginning considerations in our FTF versus online analysis, examining the gap that exists between the two based on the process. There is a challenge involved when moving from strictly online interactions to FTF, and that challenge has to do with use of the full range of the communication process from sender to receiver to feedback.

Before we go further, please understand that we will discuss social media at various times in this book. We will use online communication as the umbrella term to encompass all of the technology-based interactions we want to cover. Many experts say that social media is a part of online communication, which is, in turn, a part of electronic communication. Since online communication is now a widely accepted term, we will use it to refer to social media and other digital conversations. While we recognize that there are intermediate forms of communication between FTF and online (letters, faxes, telegrams, etc.), we do not address those.

This chapter will cover the importance of the feedback cycle, shared understanding between sender and receiver, and the use of social cues to improve or enhance the communication. There is a new set of communication barriers, formed in large part by the emergence of the digital conversation. Finally, the chapter offers an understanding of the characteristics of social networks and interpersonal communication and how they interrelate in today’s interactions. The feedback cycle is crucial in its communication importance because we know that messages are rarely fully “one-way” activities. The sender needs clarification that the receiver or receivers decode the message in the way it was intended or that they received the value that the sender intended to provide in the communication. A mutual agreement between the communicating parties is vital to ensure effective interactions that are true to the original message and its meaning, and that set the state for the continuing, cyclic conversation that should follow the original engagement. A truly effective communication features all parties accepting responsibility to be genuine, accurate, and to allow every opportunity for human contact or interaction to be part of the engagement. It’s also important to consider social cues, which are very powerful communication tools. Non-verbal communication normally occurs automatically, appearing during infancy and early childhood according to many experts. We “read” social cues to allow us to get a sense of people and improve the communication experience. Finally, social networks often lack the full range of the communication process. This is because they can adversely affect the interaction by decreasing FTF activity, imposing superficial communication experiences, and contributing to grammatical and spelling erosion of the language. So, our challenge becomes whether we truly get feedback and important communication value from the interaction.

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