Verbal Communication in a Digital Society
What is a word? Being a piece of information, it represents a result of the thinking process clothed in a specific language unit. Culture and modern social life are still based on language. Words are the most common and understandable way of communication. In the contemporary world, people speak all the time, but not every person perceives the real significance of verbal communication. The 21st century has brought with it a host of new technologies which are crowding out printed books, custom writing, magazines, and newspapers — things that helped us discover the whole world of words with unique meaning.
Significance of Words for Modern Youth
It is hardly possible to imagine modern life without electronic devices. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops enable us to quickly connect with friends and relatives, send them messages, and like their pictures in social networks. Modern young people are so immersed in virtual life that they can hardly remember the name of their neighbor. Everyone has an opportunity to publish something online, hence the significance of words decreases dramatically.
Contemporary young people are gradually losing communication skills because they no longer believe in the importance of books in the formation of personality. However, it wouldn’t be true to say that modern youngsters have lost interest in personal interaction entirely. Of course, they still maintain verbal contact, but they do not always appreciate the benefits of face-to-face communication, opting to use social networks and instant messengers instead. Young people seldom read books, newspaper, and magazines. As a result, their little vocabulary and cliche mindset decrease their communicative functions in society.
Why is Speaking More Convincing than Writing?
Written and spoken words have a different nature. Conveying information verbally affects associations and feelings. Words make a more convincing effect if they produce strong associations. By pronouncing a word, we can make a powerful impression on the interlocutor because our gestures, voice, situation, etc., matter a lot during face-to-face communication. We often hear that emotions play a significant role in the communication process. People trust emotional speakers who can tug at their heartstrings. Indeed, we can achieve a particular effect by skillfully playing such strings. Written words have a weaker effect, but it lasts much longer because they can be re-read many times.
Masaru Emoto, a Japanese scientist, discovered that spoken words can affect even ordinary water. His experiments revealed that the crystals of water formed ideal geometric shapes when he pronounced benign words, and irregular patterns when he uttered ugly words. He concluded that if spoken words could affect water, they definitely have a strong influence on people.
“Hygge” — a Danish Recipe for Happiness
Digital technology has made human life easier but more fast-paced. Hence, residents of large cities who lack time for face-to-face communication often get depressed. To deal with such problems, the Danish people, who are considered the happiest nation in the world, invented “hygge.” Being a kind of philosophy and a way of life, it prevents stresses and allows people to enjoy communication with their relatives and friends. “Hygge” can help them find joy in the simple aspects of daily life. People of Denmark and Norway have a habit of meeting friends and family members regularly. They turn off their phones and other gadgets for the duration of these meetings so they can relax and be themselves.
To sum up, words still mean a lot in our world. Though human communication has become different due to the use of modern gadgets, chatting with kith and kin in social networks can never replace sending somebody a handwritten postcard, presenting a book for a friend’s birthday, and talking with friends and relatives.