Many of us are familiar with a game called Telephone. You might have played it as a childhood game in school or at church, during which the adults supervising you have the hidden motive of teaching you a valuable lesson.
During Telephone, a word or phrase is whispered from student to student with no chance for repeats. At the end, it’s almost inevitable the message will have changed drastically since it started. The lesson, of course, is how information can be changed until it is completely unidentifiable. Ultimately, the children playing the game are supposed to realize that they shouldn’t believe every bit of information they hear from the grapevine.
As an adult, I find that keeping my lessons learned from playing Telephone in the back of my mind is important. With the age of the internet, information travels faster than ever, which also means that information may be lacking or nuances may not be transferable. This can distract from or even alter whatever message or information is being shared.
And as a young adult, there is a lot of information being sent to me or that I am sending out. Sometimes incomplete information or implied messages are confusing, which can lead people to make wrong conclusions or impressions. Sometimes even I have issues figuring out just what someone means through messenger or text.
I have found that the best thing to do in these cases is to go directly to the source. There’s no better way of obtaining information than face to face, verbal conversation. And even though I would prefer to stay home and only talk to people through apps, it is sometimes necessary.
For instance, I was once discussing some plans with a friend. We were deciding where to go and what to do. Little did I know that my phone had autocorrected the word plans to plants, leading to confusion on both mine and my friends part, as well as a good laugh later on.
Sometime miscommunication is not as insignificant as what happened to my friend and I. Sometimes the information being transmitted is more sensitive or significant. Sometimes is it more important that clear and concise communication is exhibited. In fact, a majority of issues could most likely be solved through proper communication.
I am still learning a lot about how to communicate with others. Everyone has their own way of speaking to others, and with text and emojis this specified form of talking to others becomes even more difficult to understand. While I am also guilty of using the occasional emoji or gif to communicate how I feel, I try not to let them get in the way of conveying my complete message.
As the internet further seeks to aid in communication, we all also need to grow with it. It is important for us to all keep in mind the most direct ways to exchange information with others is also the best way to avoid further issues that may be cause by miscommunication.