Dr. Ekroth Explores Human Signal Loss

Dr. Loren Ekroth Explores Human Signal Loss

Excerpt from Dr. Conversation’s News Letter of 2014-08-27 click for full article.

“Too much time with your smartphone may lead to poor conversational skills.”   (So wrote Shalini Misra,  psychology professor at Virginia Tech …)


…Distracted by their phones, [people] tend to miss subtle cues such as changes in facial expression.

How about pairs of conversers? Dr. Misra’s study found that many visitors to a café sitting in pairs or small groups checked their phone every three to five minutes. (How is a serious conversation possible?) For learning social skills, you must be able to read the feedback of the sender. 



A different study concluded that, on average, teenage girls checked their Facebook accounts roughly 100 times each day.

How about plain old phone messaging, aka “audio time?” Here’s a complaint I have heard from mothers describing messages from their daughters living away from home:  “
Mom, if you want to communicate with me, don’t phone. Text me.” Missing is the emotional quality of a young adults voice that can be decoded by the mother.


What is required for complete communication between persons is face to face interaction. That provides for “full duplex” communication where sender and receiver can both send messages at the same time. Both communicate, one with words and nonverbal signals, the other only with nonverbal signals.


You develop self-confidence by learning social skills, and to do that, you must be able to read the feedback of the sender. With text messaging and Twittering, meanings can be vague or ambiguous, like old-fashioned telegrams. “What are you doing later?” or “I’m not feeling well,” for example, are vague.



more – but click to check out the full page – excellent example of well thought out web page

6. Conversation Quotation
“The nice thing about being a celebrity is that if you bore people they think it’s their fault.” –Henry Kissinger (1923-)



7. Yesterday, August 26, in History

On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was declared in effect.


5. Words of Inspiration

“We are not like tulips or tigers, pre-destined to grow into a consistent and identical form of life. We are sentient beings, who should form our own distinct persona, influence, and legacy. To simply follow the paths of others, to act without questioning, to show no interest in understanding life’s meaning or our relationship to nature–this is to be a herd animal. We seem to seek commonality, from fashion to recreation, from friends to careers. What we should be seeking is uniqueness, a different cadence, a new route. It’s easy to follow, it’s tougher to lead, but it’s toughest to be yourself in a world trying to make you generic. Resist, at all cost.” –Alan Weiss



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