I have realized over the years technology has made me lazy when it comes to communicating. My love for texting is a huge joke around my friends and family. The people around me always say if I call someone is hurt, I’m losing it, or someone died. I hate to admit to this, but it was true! So, I decided to learn how to improve communication! This is something I am working on! Setting goals for myself and trying to communicate better has really changed my life.
I looked at my Verizon bill and compared my phone usage over the last six months. This month's phone bill proves I have improved my vocal communication. My text count has always been in the four to five thousand a month, yeah yeah I know what you are thinking, and they still are! Most of these texts are my kids saying, “can we go to a friend’s house or can they come over?” A lot of my texts are just a yes or no answers. Texting for work is very helpful to me because there are some things I just need to keep record of. Being able to refer back to text makes life a lot easier sometimes.
When I get mad or upset, I will send text messages flying! This is another reason why I am learning how to improve my communication! Today I am working on the cool down and call! There have been times when I have talked less than 75 minutes a month on the phone. This is pretty sad! I have realized when I call the important people in my life I have more to talk about than I thought. Since I live far from most of my family, I feel more informed about the things going on in their lives. When we all get together we spend time playing games, preparing meals, and engaging in different activities because we don't have to catch up. Communication in person and on the phone has become very important to me. I am 40 something and still learning!
Ideas on how to improve Communication:
- Schedule a family breakfast, lunch, or dinner one day a week. I eat with my kids all the time but with work and activity schedules we don’t always sit down as a family.
- Family game night
- Date nights
- Set a time aside to call family members. My Dad always called my Grandma every Sunday after church. She always looked forward to hearing from him.
- Call your kids! Sometimes you think your kids are too busy and they don’t have time. You will be surprised because sometimes they are thinking the same thing and really miss you.
- Girl’s Night out
- Guy’s Night out
- Friend’s Game Night
- Put Down your phones during meals. Having a phone box in the middle of the table is a great idea. Believe me things can wait for you to spend time with your family.
- Team Building activities such as bowling, escape room games, or Mystery dinners. These force people to work side by side and communicate. These are also great activities for families with teenagers.
- Take a no tech vacation. Our vacation in the spring was no tech. We went on a cruise with no internet, no gaming consoles, no computers, and no iPads. Having no idea what was going on in the outside world was kind of nice.
- Take walks without having cell phones and other devices out. When we lived in the neighborhood, I had some of my best conversations walking with my friends and children.
- Create or join a book club
- While texting is easy make it a point to call someone a couple days a week. I talk to my sister a lot of mornings while she is on her way to work. It is the best way to check in and see how the week is going. #handsfree
- Miniature Golf or Golf
- Canoeing and Rafting
- Cooking or Baking as a family or with friends. I remember my Mom and her friends getting together when I was little. They had lots of laughs making candy and cookies at Christmas. Now we make cookies together as a family. I am not patient enough to make candy! HA!
Why do I think improving communication in a high-tech world is important? Improving your communication is important because you don’t want things miscommunicated. I have been known to text something and it sounds like I am being mean or hateful. Texting makes it hard to decipher the emotion behind what you are saying. Hearing the person's tone or discussing face to face helps you understand more. Body language, tone, and facial expressions help people decipher how I really feel when communicating. I would say I WAS the Queen of miscommunication due to my lack of enjoying a phone call. In the past I have typed what I was thinking, and it has been taken wrong. Now I have realized I haven't been spending the time I need both face to face and vocally with my friends and family!
I have been making a better effort to communicate by phone and face to face with my friends and family. In the last couple weeks, I have called two different friends who answered the phone and said “Is everything OK?” I want to continue building strong relationships with the people around me and learning how to improve communication is key!
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Shelley is a boy mom, marine wife, and is blessed with an amazing family. She loves sharing recipes, travel reviews and tips that focus on helping busy families make memories.