Sample Exercise

Journal Exercise: “On Demand Contact” 


Many of us are losing the ability to interact meaningfully with others, face to face, because we opt for on-demand rather than physical contact, relying on technology to mediate our communication. Bombarded with junk mail, email, spam, direct marketing, advertising, texts, and premiums, we may ignore the written and spoken word out of distrust or cynicism, because we have become desensitized to language. The visual world also has diminished with a flatness associated with screens. Mostly, technology has altered our perception of time and occasion.

Test the above assertion. During the course of a week, analyze the impact of technology in your electronic exchanges at home or at school/work. Note the following in a detailed journal or even create an online blog to critically evaluate the exercises and assertions of this book:

  • How were you contacted: Via social network, microblog, blog, email, text?
  • Was contact untimely rather than opportune? Be sure to catalogue interruptions at school/work and disruptions at home. Jot down the medium used to make contact, along with the time of and the reason for the contact.
  • Determine whether the message:
  • Was timely for the medium, given the reason for contact.
  • Was untimely for the medium, given the reason for contact.
  • Could have been conveyed at a more propitious moment.
  • Probably should have been conveyed face-to-face at a different time.
  • Was content capricious rather than cogent? Determine the import of each message, noting whether:
  • Language was (a) clear, (b) somewhat clear, (c) unclear.
  • Content was (a) important, (b) somewhat important, (c) unimportant.

Conclude your journal entry by:

  1. Listing what components of face-to-face dialogue were filtered by the particular medium?
  2. Examining whether sight, sound, touch, and so on would have enhanced content read or viewed on a screen.
  3. Documenting how the medium may have modified meaning.
  4. Optional: Start a blog chronicling your interpersonal divide experience!