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Author: apeczynski

CICS GA 2017-2018
Does politeness theory have an impact on one’s college education?

Does politeness theory have an impact on one’s college education?

Politeness Theory (PT) has an impact on one’s college education for multiple reasons. The premise of PT is built on the idea that individuals promote, protect, and save face. During your college career you are constantly put into situations where you might execute these tactics (Marianne Dainton, 2015). As a college student you are in constant rotation of interacting and collaborating with someone in one way or another, because of this you are tasked with having to adapt and/or understand different personalities and how those personalities work (or don’t work) with your own. This is important during your four plus years as a student because you are trying to learn, experience, and understand as much as you can to develop skills that are applicable personally and professionally.

 

To do this you will balance the “face” needs of yourself against the “face” needs of others. This is the second assumption of PT, human beings are rational and goal oriented with respect to achieving face needs (Marianne Dainton, 2015). For instance, when completing group projects, individuals may play into this assumption to ensure that said group will move forward progressively and smoothly. This also appears in the relationship between professor and student. As a student, it is important that you build a rapport with your professors as they are able to bestow information and network connections that will help you advance professionally. So, as you achieve their face needs you will accomplish the goal of gaining their connections and mentorship.

Another assumption that impacts ones’ college education regarding politeness theory are “Face Threatening Acts (FTA)”, behaviors that challenge a person(s) “face”, more so the strategies for dealing with FTA’s. This comes into play when deciphering whether politeness should be used. The three strategies carrying such influence are: Prestige, Power, and Risk. In essence, education is built upon this circle of factors. Throughout the pursuit of your college education balancing and discovering the value of each strategy mentioned above is critical due to the potential lasting effect of incorrectly applying or not applying politeness. Overall, politeness theory is highly connected to social networking which is a huge factor in the journey of pursing a college education.

 

– Rashida Peete

Influence of Television

Influence of Television

Over the past decade, television markets have grown exponentially due to the increase in demand.  The implementation of online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and more have provided continuous access to the addicting shows available on television.  Although there can be varying effects on television viewers depending on their age, intelligence, social status, and amount of use, the question remains, what is the real impact of increased television usage?

In my opinion, the amount of television you watch directly correlates to your perception of the world.  Regarding light television users, I believe there are several benefits to watching television.  In many ways, I believe television in small doses can promote creativity.  Experiencing new ideas seen on television can stimulate the brain and increase creative thinking.  Along with creative thinking, I believe television can provide an educational benefit.  It is important to note that you cannot believe everything you see on television, but there are many shows that provide great factual references.  Lastly, light television use is a great avenue for entertainment purposes.  As humans, we need breaks from reality.  I believe light television usage has many benefits, and provides very few drawbacks.

The issue with television is when light usage transitions to heavy usage.  Heavy users can expand their vocabulary and at times positively influence emotions from their enjoyment of television; but these benefits do not outweigh the disadvantages.  Heavy television users are prone to develop an alternate sense of reality.  For example, minorities tend to be victimized more often than others in scary movies.  In conjunction with this fact, the idea of “don’t believe everything you hear on television” comes into play.  How many times have you heard this statement? Likely a lot.  The mass amount of television viewing can cause viewers to become ignorant to the facts of real life, as they experience what they believe to be fact through television. Heavy television viewers tend to waste much of their time, as they could be productively researching, socializing, or generating their own sense of creativity.

While I am aware of the fact that heavy television viewing can become costly to an individual’s development, it hardly influences my television viewing decisions.  I do not consider myself a high television viewer to begin with, but I would also not say I watch little television.  I tend to watch sports more than shows and movies, and I also tend to do homework or research while watching.  I do find myself in isolating to the outside world at times, but I also believe that is partially due to my personality in general.  Overall, I believe I have control over my television viewing, and believe I can filter the good from the bad.  The main issue remains; we all must be aware of the issues television can cause.

 

– Tyler Raab

Anxiety in Communicating

Anxiety in Communicating

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

Television’s Influence

Television’s Influence

Television has become a staple in our modern society and provides us the ability to communicate to a large number of people at once. Since it’s early adoption, it has been used as a tool to pass along local, national, and world news to users who may or may not use television heavily. I personally believe that television can affect you the more you watch it, but it also depends on what part of television you watch.

As a former heavy television user, I have seen the effects that it can have on people that watch television heavily. I have seen it come to a point where the news that heavy users watch, the users end up making assumptions about their local area or the world. With the news these days focusing mostly on the negatives, users tend to presume the world is a bad place or heading down the wrong path. Also, heavy users tend to cling to certain shows that affect their personalities or well-being. For instance, let’s say a person watches “Family Guy” about 80% of their total television viewing. These people tend to do more reckless acts of behavior and tend to use foul language more often in simple conversations. Lastly, watching excessive amounts of violent and crude television can effect learning habits. I feel that this is something that should be strongly recognized and regulated for young children as they are very malleable to anything that they see happen.

Not all television is bad for you however. Watching educational television such as Animal Planet and PBS can be beneficial to one’s personal growth, especially people at a young age. These networks present a positive learning experience that enhances ones intelligence and creativity. Watching non-violent or very little violent television such as sports and family sitcoms can also be watched at high rates, but will have little to no effect on a person’s learning habits, personalities, or sexual behavior and can promote self-motivation, confidence, and relationship building.

As stated previously, I personally do not watch much television. The few times I do watch television is to watch NCAA or NBA basketball games or the occasional award shows such as the MTV Music Awards, the Grammys, or the Oscars. Thus, I feel that because of what I believe in the impacts of heavy television usage can do to a person, I will not be watching a lot of television, but if I do happen to watch a lot of television, it will be sports or something that can mildly stimulate my mind.

 

– Marcus Berry

When to Use Your Cellphone

When to Use Your Cellphone

In our hyper-connected society it’s nearly a guarantee that everybody has a cellphone on them at all times. Whether you use your phone to chat with friends or use it to run a business, our phones are very important to us. However, it’s critical to understand the do’s and don’ts of cellphone etiquette. Being careless with your cellphone could offend somebody, give off a bad impression, or hurt your chances of getting that dream job. Here I have detailed some cellphone etiquette basics that are sure to keep you out of hot water.

 

At work

  • Do not touch phones during meetings
  • Have a professional ring tone
  • Silence your device
  • Only answer important calls
  • Move calls into a more private setting

At home

  • Do not take phone to the dinner table
  • Do not take calls when already talking to others

Public

  • Avoid personal topics around others
  • Do not raise voice or yell while on the phone
  • Don’t take calls while on public transportation
  • End call when purchasing something
  • Turn off phone while on flights

– Kaitlin Franke

Enhanced Anxiety In Communication

Enhanced Anxiety In Communication

Text messaging and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are allowing people to communicate with each other from all over the world. Communication has changed with the evolution of technology. People can talk with someone from a completely different country that they have never met with a just few clicks or taps on a screen.

This ability to talk without seeing someone face-to-face has made some people uncomfortable or even unsure of how to act when communicating in-person. We see more and more people that are uncomfortable with communicating in an in-person fashion. They are so used to texting or using social media to meet and talk to different people, that they are losing the ability to do the same in-person. Try to think about it this way – if LeBron James did not continue to hone his skill on a basketball, would he be one of the best to ever play the game? If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning stopped watching film and practicing would they have ever achieved as high as have they have? The answer is no. You have to continuously work on a skill in order to improve upon it.

Working in a school system for several years, I could see it more so than ever in middle schoolers. They have, generally, only communicated with each other outside of school through technology, and do not know how to hold a conversation when they see each other in the hallway. These students also do not know how to interact with adults. They aren’t taught to maintain eye contact or to listen before responding. Taking it a step further, these students do not communicate well through formal written communication either. As a teacher, I saw students not know how to write complete sentences or would use abbreviations when writing formal papers for a class. In my opinion, this is due to the extensive amount of communication that is done through texting and/or social media.

This is not to say that all people or students are like this. That would be an unreasonable generalization about people who possess the skill to communicate in-person. It all depends on how much time and energy each individual puts into honing their ability to communicate.

 

– Drew Miller

Do’s and Don’ts of Cell Phones

Do’s and Don’ts of Cell Phones

Cell Phones have become one of the 21st century’s greatest innovative sandboxes. We have gone from flip phones with physical buttons to completely touch screen devices. 72% of people in the US alone have a smart phone that they call their own. With any new device or technology, over time certain aspects are loved and certain are loved to be hated. For instance, people love the ability to surf the web from their pocket, but aren’t too fond of having their batteries explode (Galaxy Note 7) in their pockets. Aside from features and specs, new technologies change our behavior as well. We learn to shape our lives around the devices we use, and that has an impact on the way we use them. Cell phones have been around for a while, and we have learned to use them in any setting. However, there are good and bad aspects to using them. Let’s take a look at some simple do’s and don’ts of cell phone etiquette. (All of these are based off personal experience and common communication theories.)

 

First, the do’s:

  • Answer your phone with a common greeting, like “Hello, this is ______.” This makes the person on the other end feel welcomed and confirms they called the right number. It also helps the conversation get off on the right foot.
  • Use Voicemail. When you are with others, or in a meeting, or in any situation that is less-than-ideal for answering the phone, let the call go to voicemail. The people around you will thank you for it.
  • Do consider Politeness Theory when talking on the phone. Although cell phones allow you to hold a conversation across any distance without being in the presence of the other person, take in mind that the other person may not take the meaning of the message the way you’re sending. Just like in texting, some parts of the effectiveness of the message get lost because of the medium. Remember the different methods of saving face like off the record, positive politeness, etc.

 

Now the DON’Ts:

  • DON’T use your phone when at the table around a meal. This has become a big issue among people these days. A dinner table can be an incredible, communal place where people come around to laugh and tell stories. This can be ruined by one or more of the members around the table being engrossed in their cell phone.
  • DON’T yell or use profane language when on the phone in public. This, from personal experience, has become a big DON’T in regard to cell phone usage. It can be a quick negative when seeing someone in public conversing loudly or cussing out the other party. Take notice of your surroundings when answering the phone.

 

These are just suggestions and things to keep in mind in regard to cell phone etiquette.

– Nathan Byers

Man Down

Man Down

“Man up”. Regardless of your gender, sex, or identity you have heard something to this effect in a time of crisis—feel free to let me know if I am wrong.  However, in communication, this may be not the easy fix all that some people would have it be.

Per Dainton and Zelley there is evidence suggesting that sex does not show significant difference in communication styles (it suggests more similarities than not).  Rather, the perceived differences in communication we focus on are those of gender roles—those expectations which are established by a community; research in which gender roles are swapped supports such beliefs.

But what might these gender role swaps be?  Well, that is where my story comes in.  Prior to considering CICS my heart was set on becoming an occupational therapist, specializing in pediatrics—this field is dominated by a mostly female work force.

When working with children in hospital systems, I used a more feminine style of communication both verbally and physically—I “manned down” so to say.  As explained by Deborah Tannen, I used communication to form and solidify relationships, rather than assert status or power—the more masculine side of expression (Dainton & Zelley, 2011).  With the children, my stature was open and welcoming, I wore casual clothes to match their own, and I always tried to enter the room with a smile.

In the process of entering CICS I have found myself shedding the focus of how I convey my message and becoming more focused on what I say.  I dress in less vibrant colors, fold my arms when talking to others, and try to manage rigid posture.  Without realizing it, I conformed to what our society expects of people in a business setting.

Where else might we see this?  Pay attention to your own communication when with a group of all females or males.  Does your presentation of yourself differ: the way you sit, facial expressions, do you greet with a handshake or a hug?

In my own experience I think that the fluidity of communication styles was important—when working with young children you cannot effectively communicate with them if you do not build and maintain a good relationship; I think they prioritized how I said things before what I said.  As I move to a field surrounded by other adults, I think that finding a balance between how/what I say is key in mature communication; mature communication needs to be balanced, like most everything else in our world—so I will continue man up and down as I see fit.

 

–  Aaron Khoury

Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. D. (2015). Applying communication theory for professional life: A

practical introduction (3rd ed.). California: SAGE Publications.

Is the use and impact of social media beneficial, detrimental, or both to a company’s reputation?

Is the use and impact of social media beneficial, detrimental, or both to a company’s reputation?

As the presence of social media becomes more prevalent in the lives of youth, this need to exist online has shown businesses that to be relevant they must make a good appearance. How we appear through a screen seems to impact our reputation more than expected. Comparison rates are high among our personal accounts, whether we want it to happen or not. But, the way society judges a company on their social media habits can change their intended trajectory completely.

Social media presence can be both beneficial and detrimental to a company’s reputation. Society has seen these triumphs and failures time and time again with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook campaigns either working out really well, or flopping and causing damage that is kept alive for longer than necessary. One of the most recent examples of social media being detrimental to a reputation is that of Dove Beauty products. The company had created a commercial showcasing the use of one product for multiple skin types. But when transitioning it to social media, the clips rotated from skin type to skin type causing a commotion by making society think Dove was trying to convert darker skin tones to that of lighter shades. Even though it was misinterpreted, the campaign went viral for all the wrong reasons and has put Dove in hot water. The costs have been high for Dove on social media. Although they have issued apologies over social media, the campaign is still prevalent in the minds of the public.

With mass media communications being the gate keepers for what society focuses on, it is easy to always focus on the negatives that occur in society. Social media seems to always showcase the bad, with only a small glimpse of the good. Companies that have been able to use social media to benefit their image have been NASA, Budweiser, and even the social media site Instagram. Their campaigns have ranged in content from awareness to personal promotion, while executing them without a hitch. Reputations are not always tarnished over social media controversies, but it seems that those are the only ones that society focuses on.

Overall, social media helps pivot our attention from the good and the bad in society. It also helps us form opinions on almost everything and anything. Whether social media is beneficial or detrimental to the reputation of a company depends on how campaigns are interpreted by the public. There is always an intended meaning for posts, but it is not always seen in the same light for everyone. In order to not let misinterpretation affect the reputation of a company they must ultimately establish a positive presence from the beginning and strive to maintain that.

As the presence of social media becomes more prevalent in the lives of youth, this need to exist online has shown businesses that to be relevant they must make a good appearance. How we appear through a screen seems to impact our reputation more than expected. Comparison rates are high among our personal accounts, whether we want it to happen or not. But, the way society judges a company on their social media habits can change their intended trajectory completely.

Social media presence can be both beneficial and detrimental to a company’s reputation. Society has seen these triumphs and failures time and time again with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook campaigns either working out really well, or flopping and causing damage that is kept alive for longer than necessary. One of the most recent examples of social media being detrimental to a reputation is that of Dove Beauty products. The company had created a commercial showcasing the use of one product for multiple skin types. But when transitioning it to social media, the clips rotated from skin type to skin type causing a commotion by making society think Dove was trying to convert darker skin tones to that of lighter shades. Even though it was misinterpreted, the campaign went viral for all the wrong reasons and has put Dove in hot water. The costs have been high for Dove on social media. Although they have issued apologies over social media, the campaign is still prevalent in the minds of the public.

With mass media communications being the gate keepers for what society focuses on, it is easy to always focus on the negatives that occur in society. Social media seems to always showcase the bad, with only a small glimpse of the good. Companies that have been able to use social media to benefit their image have been NASA, Budweiser, and even the social media site Instagram. Their campaigns have ranged in content from awareness to personal promotion, while executing them without a hitch. Reputations are not always tarnished over social media controversies, but it seems that those are the only ones that society focuses on.

Overall, social media helps pivot our attention from the good and the bad in society. It also helps us form opinions on almost everything and anything. Whether social media is beneficial or detrimental to the reputation of a company depends on how campaigns are interpreted by the public. There is always an intended meaning for posts, but it is not always seen in the same light for everyone. In order to not let misinterpretation affect the reputation of a company they must ultimately establish a positive presence from the beginning and strive to maintain that.

 

– Lauren McNally

Negative Effects of Social Media

Negative Effects of Social Media

In a growing world where technology has become a necessary source of communication, special attention must be placed on the potential hazards of social media. Social media has changed the way people interact. Most would say in many ways social media has led to positive changes in the way people communicate and share information, however, there are also some dark sides to social networking that sometimes have negative outcomes.

Some of the main areas of negativity associated with social media include the creation of social anxiety, and a weakened ability to communicate effectively person-to-person. Have you found yourself waiting in an elevator and, in fear of someone looking at you the wrong way or the thought of someone speaking to you, the next thing you know you pull out your phone to make it seem as if you are doing something important so no one bothers you? That would be “social anxiety” and most of us don’t even realize it is happening. This is due to us being so wrapped up with technology devices and social media that we use them as outlets to avoid social interaction subconsciously.

On top of avoiding social interaction with technology and social media, when we do decide to communicate we aren’t doing so effectively. We are so consumed with the thought that if we aren’t on our phone that we are missing what is going on, that when we are in the presence of someone, we constantly check our phones for updates. This can come off very offensively to the person you are with, especially if they have given up time in their schedule to meet with you, and you are glued to your phone the entire time. Continually doing so can lead to loss of friends, and professional connections.

Another negative outcome social media has caused is how we communicate with each other. Since social media is so fast paced, we don’t put much depth behind what we post, we just aim for short and sweet. Doing so has led to us applying this concept in our conversations. Instead of being able to spend meaningful time conversing with someone, our conversations have shortened, content is less substantial, and our social media syntax has become our conversations.

Being able to get back to a point where we can separate ourselves from technology and social media, and focus on how to effectively communicate with each other, will help reduce social anxieties and encourage us to work on our person-to-person conversations and interactions.

 

  • Cheria Averitte
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