Psychology | Communication
We tend to have a conflict in our lives between our primitive desires and our desire to improve ourselves. This affects how we communicate with each other. Our lives have become more complicated and so has communication. We are individuals, but we take decisions collectively and need the support of others.
We have come a long way since we lived in caves and communication has been the key to our success as a species. Being able to communicate through reading and writing has been very important throughout history. It not only allowed us to communicate through documents and letters, but also allowed us to make a record of our progress. It even allowed us to develop languages and make them more sophisticated.
Technology is now a major means of communication. There is mass electronic communication through films, radio and websites which is slowly replacing the printed word. We can communicate with groups of people and individually through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We can form new relationships, but are these relationships as important as the ones we are used to? We tend to have a family network and a network of friends, who support us. Can we rely on our online friends for the same support?
We are social animals and work better collectively. We need the help and support of others and personal relationships are important. They are usually based on a set of ‘rules’; standards of behaviour. If our close friends need help or support, we try to help them. We also share ideas and problems with friends. It is important to be aware of the rules of personal relationships. What is allowed and what isn’t allowed. If you try to exploit your friends, eventually they will realise and they won’t be friends anymore. There are also, so called ‘fair weather’ friends who will move on when you need them the most.
Making friends online can lead to good friendships without too much commitment. You don’t have to put so much into the friendship, but you don’t get so much out of the friendship either. Even with online friends there are rules, there is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. You have to be even more tolerant of what others say and what they believe. Online communication is developing all the time as social media grows and advances. Skype has now linked to Facebook and so out of occasional friendship, a more one to one form of communication through Skype can develop. You can then decide to meet your new friend after that initial exchange of information and ideas. You are both on ‘home ground’ with Skype and once you arrange to meet, things can change forever and so it’s best to meet on neutral ground. Then if your friend isn’t all that you expected or you need longer to get to know each other before arranging meetings; that option is easier.
Have you ever met friends that you have made online? How did it work out? Was it a good experience or bad experience? Please share your thoughts in the comments box.