The Decimation of Communication


Benji Hobson, Reporter

Technology has come a long way in the last few decades. We can now instantaneously do business with people on the other side of the globe, search the breadth of man’s knowledge, navigate with the precision of GPS, and watch cat videos all from devices that fit in the palm of our hands. But has this advancement of technology resulted in the atrophying of our society’s communication skills?

There was a time when communication was an art form; h

eartfelt letters were composed instead of minimalistic texts, familiar handwriting graced pages rather than digital fonts, and people talked in three dimensions as opposed to the mere two of a screen. In today’s world, communication has become increasingly less intimate and thoughtful, and a lot more hasty and shallow.

Words, when chosen with deliberateness and specificity, are beautiful. They have power and authority, they inflict emotion upon the reader and they reflect the mood and intention of their author. Sadly however, as our society embraced texting, communication suddenly became all about speed, causing the art of insightful diction and articulation to fade away. “Lol’s” “jk’s” and other such tasteless abbreviations have taken over, and communication has truly lost something as a result. Technology has killed our language, and not only that, it has changed the way we view it.

Graphology, the study of handwriting, allows its students to analyze the loops, stems and serifs of handwriting to gain possible insight as to who might have written it and even what their personality might be. But one does not have to be a scientist to appreciate handwriting. There is just something comforting about seeing a handwritten note from a loved one. Whether it is grandma’s loopy cursive or dad’s unintelligible scrawl, it is like seeing a facet of their personality soaked into the paper, and it is intimate. With the introduction of texting and email, most communication is now conducted through the monotonous and impersonal script of the computer. It is critical that a person’s disposition come through in conversation, and tragically it is not just the lack of handwriting that has caused the deterioration of character in communication.

Without body language, it can be incredibly easy to misinterpret a person’s meaning. Unless individuals are cautious in what they write and how they write it, their friendly jab can be taken as an painful criticism, or vice versa. Even handwritten letters can sometimes run into this problem, but in the brevity and hastiness of our modern messages, this issue has become all too pronounced.

Thankfully, not all technology has hurt communication. With the invention of software like FaceTime and Skype, people can both see and hear each other, and thus talk from opposite hemispheres without compromising intimacy or articulation. So it is possible that tech and talk can coexist and even work in conjunction with one another. It is just imparative that we as a society watch our steps when it comes to what we post, tweet or text. That, or we could just send an old-fashioned letter.