I believe that people’s anxiety in communicating is amplified by our use of electronics and social media. This is undeniably an issue in today’s society – people don’t want to engage in personal communication due to their ease of communicating via electronics. People have gotten so used to formulating their communication into a space that is confined in how much you may say, all to, typically, get a reaction from others.
I, myself, am guilty of having my communication-anxiety take over due to my use of electronics and social media. Why call and engage in an actual conversation when I could just order online through a computer? Why talk to an employee in person to order my food when I could order through my phone instead, and avoid interaction.
Not only is the convenience of electronics and social media a factor for communication-anxiety being amplified, but people have gotten so used to communicating via a virtual space that there is no fear of repercussions for responses. People do not instantly have someone to refute or argue or respond to their statements online. When engaging in interpersonal communication, one must deal with real reactions and real arguments. When people finally do engage in real conversation, they are scared of responses and how to react to other’s statements or claims – because they’ve had the option of not doing so through social media.
I believe one of the biggest ways we see this anxiety is out in public environments with close human encounters. If you are on the subway or train, you generally see every person’s attention on their device. No one wants to engage with another to carry out an actual conversation. The thought of communicating with other humans stresses people out. They get comfortable with only seeing the communication they want to via the people they follow on social media and the people they text on their phone. A conversation in which one is not prepared for, throws many off.
I’d wish to see more communicating in social and public areas. I’d wish to see more engagement of humans on the train, bus, airplane, airport, or anywhere that may require humans gather. I’d wish there were classes in education that taught our teenagers and kids the importance of media consumption and electronics engagement. I’ve learned you can learn a lot through simply asking humans questions and staying curious. Social media and electronics can be such a beautiful tool to help in that. However, it seems more often than not it’s only made others more afraid of being curious to engage with other humans.
– Alex Mantica