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Stop googling. Let’s talk

You probably feel how modern technology captures our lives: just a couple of years – and here we can hardly imagine our day without gadgets and the Internet. Living communication becomes a rarity, and we are deeper and deeper into the virtual world. Think about this trend and get acquainted with the article by Professor Sheri Terkl.

Students have recently shared with me: simultaneously looking into the eyes of the interlocutor while quietly typing a message on the phone they can at least with the school bench. And now it is almost in the order of things: spend time with friends and at the same time virtually present somewhere else. Research this year showed that 89% of respondents used their mobile phones during their last meeting with friends, and 82% of them said that it was because of phones that the conversation did not fit.

What happens to face-to-face communication? Why do people now prefer to interact with the Internet, rather than chat live?
The students told me about the so-called rule three: do not touch the phone during a company conversation from 5-6 people, while at least 3 people are included in the dialogue. Thus, to the conversation are connected one and the other in turn, and each one has the opportunity to politely “dive” into his telephone. You can be present where you want, you do not have to miss, and if the conversation became boring, then you will immediately find who to chat with online.

But there are opposite examples when young people themselves worry about the lack of live communication. One 15-year-old teenager shared his story with me: once they discussed something with her father during dinner, and the man decided to back up his arguments with facts, while taking the phone. “Enough to dig, dad, I just want to talk to you!” – the son replied to his father.

We used to always be in touch and learned, if necessary, to get away from the conversation – in particular, from unpredictable conversations that make us vulnerable, require us to think and generate ideas. It is during such conversations, when we feel the tone and emotions of the interlocutor, we find an eye contact with him, we are really communicating. Of course, we can try to communicate more live, but the trend is clear: now we put the phones in first place.

Problems with communication begin with youth. Have you noticed how the current younger generation is communicating? Everyone stumbles on his phone, and there is a complete silence. Many times my friends have been asking me questions that work as teachers in schools, and they are very concerned about this problem: what can be done? how to teach children to communicate? This becomes a frightening trend.
Psychologist Yalda Yults in 2014 conducted a study in a children’s camp concerning children’s dependence on devices. The results showed that after 5 days without phones and tablets, the guys could better recognize the emotions of the actors in the video than the children from the control group. Without constant distraction on gadgets, thanks to communication and discussion, it has become much easier for children to imagine themselves at someone else’s place and to describe these feelings.

The problem is also that we are not able to stay alone with ourselves and are afraid of loneliness. The Virginia University Psychologists’ Research has demonstrated the ability of the modern generation to be lonely in the following way: people were asked to sit in the chair, stay alone with their thoughts for 15 minutes without books and gadgets, while still not falling asleep. Most of the participants in the experiment chose to subjugate their soft electroshock, just not to remain alone with their thoughts.

Of course, there is nothing to bite from the boredom of the phone. But just in solitude we learn to concentrate, listen to ourselves, build plans. It is necessary, we should not be afraid to remain alone with us.

Our phones are not just accessories but psychologically powerful devices that change our lives and ourselves. And we are quite capable of leaving your phone in another room for an hour or two, giving time to relatives and friends. Yes, and at work sometimes it is quite pleasant and useful to chat with colleagues, besides, the team spirit increases the productivity of labor.

One employee told me another interesting item called “rule 7 minutes.” Give yourself 7 minutes to listen to your interlocutor and just follow the dialogue that unfolds before you get distracted by phone or something like that. However, as she confessed, she often lacks patience and the hand stretches out to check the mobile and update an application.

According to Howard Gardner and Kati Davis, psychologists, such behavior is typical of the “application generation” that grew with phones in their hands. They are impatient and want the world of instant response, as their smartphones do. But living human communication is not a set of algorithms, but a unique phenomenon that can not be replaced.

One more step to accomplish is to return live, real conversations with your friends and your surroundings, stop seeing the world as a giant

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