The scene is familiar. We are at a family meal, or a business lunch, and everyone is checking their notifications, answering messages, and constantly using their cell phone and normally, they are using the messaging app called WhatsApp. Number of conversations are going on, but not among those who are physically present, but between people on internet. Would it help as an individual or in terms of personality development, not to communicate to people physically near but communicate to people physically far. Are we not forcing to our person, for something which we are not built for?
There is possibility that too much exertion on social media can make you a less attractive person. It is a truth with regard to your whole personality and art of communication.
Professor and journalist Fernando Martínez Vallvey is a professor of Communication at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain, and is an expert in digital journalism. He tells us about the relationship between rudeness and this new element in our lives called WhatsApp.
Why ‘WhatsApp’ is it so addictive?
Communication is a very important part of people’s lives: it’s a vital necessity. We need to communicate with other people for practical purposes such as working, doing homework, or playing with others; it’s also essential for dealing with immaterial, spiritual, or transcendent matters such as love, art, etc. Communication allows us to give to others without losing; communicating with others helps us solve problems, makes our lives easier, and provides us with companionship. Communication is a gift, and a way of completing ourselves as individuals, supplementing our personalities, in our day-to-day lives.
Based on this fact, we can see that any form of communication that constantly meets these needs will be well received by most people. It’s fantastic knowing where the person we have to pick up is located; being able to ask someone to bring to our house something we forgot; reminding someone of a task they have to do; or sending a romantic message – and all of that easily, quickly, and for free.
This reaches the status of an obsession when you feel empty and like you’re missing out on something if it’s been a while since you got a notification on your phone. That’s when communication, which is a good thing, becomes dangerous. We feel empty. We could compare it to compulsive eating. Eating is good: we need to eat in order to have energy to do physical work and to live; but if we eat more than we need … That’s when the problems start. Each person must seek balance between their interior well-being (their ability to feel at peace with themselves) and their relationship with others. Why is this form of communication addictive? Because it costs nothing and gives a lot.
WhatsApp making people rude?
It’s true that there are occasions when we are paying so much attention to our cell phones that we aren’t even aware of being rude; for example, we might not ask forgiveness when we’ve bothered someone sitting next to us on public transportation, or we might fail to greet someone we know when we pass them on the street. It’s becomes more serious when the way we communicate using our phone is a nuisance to other people, keeping them from watching a movie undisturbed. Of course, what this obsession does is make us less attentive to what happens around us. We lose contact with what’s happening in front of us because we are focused on what’s going on far away. This has some of its worst consequences when, for example, a shared meal is constantly interrupted and the conversation among the people around the table is impeded because someone is constantly chatting with other people who are physically absent. Another form of rudeness is manifested in classrooms, when students never stop looking at their screens, and don’t pay attention to what their teacher or a classmate is saying.
How Social Media can adversely affect families?
Now a days, its not a strange scene that family members using cell phones on dining tables. Not even a word is communicated between them, but a whoel lot of communication is going through the internet. Families who eat lunch in front of the television, for example; that is also a problem. If your family wants to communicate with each other, to talk about what happened during the day, or that morning … simply don’t turn on the television. Of course, there can be limits while at our job too, although because messaging is also a working tool, it can be complicated. Regarding guidelines, maybe we should think in general terms about how we can be more polite towards others: paying attention when we are together, making time to help them, not closing ourselves off from others in our own little world … Standard good manners give us many principles that we should apply every day, at various times and in many areas of life. Domestic violence, for example. A well-educated person knows that we must respect others: especially, those we love. Consequently, we cannot strike them physically, or hurt them psychologically. Having good manners means thinking about how to make other people’s lives easier, respecting them…
Therefore, to what extent could the way I use my phone constitute rudeness towards others too, bothering them at one time or another? That is the question we should all ask ourselves in order to begin establishing a standard for manners, as we should do in every area of life: knowing how to sit properly on public transportation, for instance.