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22 Feb
2021

In early 2007, Anjali Athavaley, writing in The Wall Street Journal, observed that “[w]ireless email…

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In early 2007, Anjali Athavaley, writing in The Wall Street Journal, observed that “[w]ireless email devices used to be largely the domain of harried executives and professionals. Now, the so-called CrackBerry effect is beginning to afflict the masses. The BlackBerry has become ingrained in daily life, much like the cellphone and computer.”* Indeed, since this observation was penned, smartphones, like the BlackBerry, have become ubiquitous in the general population. People from all walks of life, young and old, all socioeconomic strata, etc., have embraced the potential of smartphones for communicating with others, searching for information, doing work, playing games, and a myriad other applications. “[E]veryone from stay-at-home parents to college students is depending on BlackBerrys or similar…devices for basic daily tasks, such as checking sports scores, finding directions, emailing the children’s baseball coach and keeping in up-to-the-minute touch with friends.”* “They are talking on mobile phones, checking email on hand-held computers or integrated communicators, or getting an instant or a text message on either device. Some are listening to music and playing games on personal game consoles, while others are checking sports scores, watching replays, or even making dinner reservations. No matter age, gender, national identity, or socioeconomic status, broad mobile device adoption seems to know no bounds.”*Smartphones, like the BlackBerry have numerous potential applications. Nick Wingfield, writing in The Wall Street Journal, notes that “mobile workers have been ditching their desktop computers for laptops that they can take wherever they go. Now road warriors are starting to realize that they can get even more portability—and lots of computing punch—from [S]mart [P]hones.”* Many business “travelers are now using [S]mart [P]hones the way they once used laptops—and laptops the way they once used desktop computers,” and some traveling business people are even “ditching their laptops entirely and doing all their mobile work from [S]mart [P]hones.”*With the increased popularity of smartphones and all they can do to facilitate communications, they have undermined verbal communication and promoted incivility in the communications process. “[F]riends hardly call each other. People resist protocols that call for verbal communication…. People don’t like using their phones to make calls or listen to voice mails.”* Texting seems to be the preferred mode, especially for younger people, when communicating with others.Among college students, texting is a dominant form of communication, and as most any college student knows, texting goes on at inappropriate times. For instance, texting during class—even when it’s not allowed—is a common occurrence. “In a survey of 1,043 college students at the University of New Hampshire, almost half said they feel guilty about texting during class when it’s not allowed. Even so, texting is quite common: 65 percent said they send at least one text message during a typical class.”*“People calling, texting and responding to e-mails at inappropriate times and places have become an issue in both a professional and business context.”* Joseph De Avila, reporting for The Wall Street Journal, notes people have a pervasive expectation that they have instant access to email, and rapid replies to one’s messages are expected.*Incivility in interpersonal communication is manifested in the level of empathy that people display toward each other. “Recent research has shown a marked decline in empathy…. A new University of Michigan study finds that empathy among college students has declined 40% in the past two decades. Researchers say one factor may be our reliance on social media. We’re more apt to be empathetic when we communicate face to face.”*Yet some backlash is occurring to the pull of technological connectivity. “In an increasingly connected world, some CEOs prefer to kick it old school, avoiding the short attention span that comes with being plugged in. They have assistants that handle all their communication, prefer reading printed out e-mails, and don’t dip their toes in any social media. That level of isolation is unrealistic for most executives, but learning when to connect and when to disconnect is essential in today’s business culture.”*As people everywhere are becoming more connected technologically, are they becoming increasingly disconnected interpersonally?Discussion Questions:1.Can the basic interpersonal communication model be used as an aid in understanding the impact of smartphone usage? If so, how?2.How have smartphones transformed the way in which business people communicate with regard to fulfilling their job responsibilities?3.How have smartphones transformed the way in which college students communicate?4.Do you think that as people become more connected technologically they become less connected interpersonally? Why or why not?*** Please number all answers and put into essay form. Must have sources**
In early 2007, Anjali Athavaley, writing in The Wall Street Journal, observed that “[w]ireless email devices used to be largely the domain of harried executives and professionals. appeared first on Robust Papers.

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