Sunday, January 22, 2012

Differing Ideologies

Dear Ilana Gershon,

            I found your numerous descriptions of relationship conclusions to be quite entertaining to say the least. Even so, the variety of encounters displayed, did demonstrate one important aspect of communication that seems to occur so readily in modern day society. The aspect here refers to the varying views of different mediums of communication that people use everyday. Your descriptions from each of the interviews show that to each person, the same communication channel has very different meanings between the involved individuals of each scenario. More simply put, the media ideologies of each person is different. This leads to much of the conflicts that arose in each of the breakups that were examined.
You mention the importance of second order information within communication channels which I completely agree with. I feel that this detail is often overlooked leading to many of the miscommunications that occur in everyday life. As you mentioned, the second order information aids in determining the level of importance that a communication medium has to a person. Since each person has a differing ideology, they will assign different second order information to the communication channel currently being used, creating a different level of importance than what the sender originally intended. As such, electronic forms of communication may not be the best to end a relationship as the level of seriousness may not be clearly defined on the surface, as some of the examples you provided demonstrated. Beyond just the seriousness that each communication channel offers for different people, you also highlight the fact that there is a multitude of different connotations associated with electronic communication channels such as text, IMs, and FaceBook. Therefore choosing one over the other may not effectively transfer the original intention of a message which differs from the level of seriousness. An awaiting receiver may be expecting the discussion about a topic on there own preferable channel, but the other person may see another channel as perfectly equivalent or appropriate for the situation. Simply handling a medium incorrectly can also give rise to interpretation problems as well contributing to one of the many problems of communication in modern times, especially with electronic forms.
All in all, I agree with the ideas you presented, as I have personally encountered some of these situations. The lack of standardization among mediums and different understandings of each, create the diverse communicating environment visible everywhere which you have illuminated in your piece.  

Jonathan Thai

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