Communication Breakdown Essay

2162 WordsFeb 15, 20129 Pages
Communication Breakdown Twenty years ago, literacy was defined as simply being able to read and write. But today, in the twenty-first century, literacy seems to mean more than just the consumption of text. To be literate today, we not only have to be able to consume text and understand it, but we must also have an appreciation for the diverse contexts that the text originates from. “As in any perception, inferences in such [interactive] situations go beyond the information given, relying on the context rather than the stimuli only” (Hari and Kujala). In traditional literacy, such as the printed word, the entire context on the page is very explicit and mandated for us by the author; the context is generally familiar to us. In today’s…show more content…
The human mind is very malleable and quite adaptable. If we are not conscious of what we are molding, shaping, and adapting our minds to, it will become invisible to us; it will become natural. It’s very much in our nature to fall into habit. As we go through the day, certain tasks are completed almost unconsciously, like driving to work, for example. You know the route so well, you don’t even think about where you’re going. And this desensitization caused by overstimulation results in a general numbing of the nervous system. Without face-to-face interaction, this desensitization could lead to a loss in the ability to read emotions on a more personal level. “In face-to-face interaction, the brain reads a continual cascade of emotional signs and social cues, instantaneously using them to guide our next move so that the encounter goes well. Much of this social guidance occurs in the circuitry centered on the orbitofrontal cortex, a center for empathy…But the cortex needs social information — a change in tone of voice, say — to know how to select and channel our impulses. And in e-mail there are no channels for voice, facial expression or other cues from the person who will receive what we say” (Goleman). Within social interaction, one is able to broadcast their feelings and attitudes with body language, such as hand gestures, facial expressions, and even posture. We recognize those we talk to based off of their
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