In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)
Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion
Communication and Identity (Ch 3)
reference groups and social comparison
Explain how self-fulfilling prophecies shape the self-concept and influence communication.
Explain the concept of reflected appraisal. Choose two people in your life who have contributed to how you view yourself and how their communication contributed to who you are today.
Reflected appraisal is the process in which a person’s self perception is influenced by other people. This is a common psychology term. It has also cost me quite a bit of coin in therapy over the last twenty plus years. I have a whole catalog of examples from my mother. I will start with negative and try to find something positive. My mother is quite insecure because her mother was an abusive narcissist. She won some tying award in the 1970s. It was a contest or something in Chicago. This in addition to the fact she learned to type on a “real typewriter” allows he to consider herself the authority on typing. Since elementary school she has told me I am a terrible “typist.” I grew up thinking I suck at typing. It didn’t matter that my WPM was tested at 65 with 99% accuracy. Or that I could 10-key faster in 4 hours than three night auditors in 8 hours. I knew I couldn’t type. Did my mother having actual typing classes? Yes. Did I ever have a typing class? No, I was self taught. Did not matter I sucked at it. A few months ago, my daughter was impressed by my typing speed. I began to tell her I wasn’t any good at it, but then I decided to change the story. I thanked her for noticing and told her, “Grandma thinks I suck at it.” She replied with, “Grandma sucks.” Who am I to argue? The positive reflected appraisal came from my daughter. I was explaining to her about the changes in the relationship with the man we thought would be her step father by now. Before I could get into my well rehearsed speech about love, adulting, and how it is not her fault, she cut me off to speak her mind. She then proceeded to tell me that I am the best mama ever. I won’t go into the details because I will start crying. Since then I stop almost everyday to recognize how lucky my kids are to have me as a mother. I am fortunate to have wonderful kids, but they didn’t come that way. It takes time, patience, and understanding plus I highly recommend Jewish preschool. Although we can become products of our environment, we can chose to change.
Interpersonal Communication and Social Media (Ch 2)
leanness / richness
Comment on how gender and age affect the use of mediated channels, and adapt your use of channels to best fit the given recipient.
Explain several ways that mass media and technology contribute to the shaping of our self-concept.
Media and technology have been contributing to the human self-concept for hundreds of years. The Gutenberg Press drastically changed Christianity. Before Bibles were painstakingly handwritten by priests. This allowed for a high percentage of error. Then William Tyndale translated the Bible into common tongue and it was able to be mass produced for the first time in its existence. This caused people to change their understanding of God and their personal relationship to God was redefined as well. After watching the original Time Machine, I remember my mother talking about how future archaeologists would probably think Americans worshiped televisions. Looking at the ruins of a house from 1988 would show an alter in almost every room of the house with television remnants. Clearly Ancient Americans valued this object, and worshiped it in their daily lives. The recent changes in media and technology did not create the connection to self-conception. I am certain children in the late 1800s wanted toys out of the Montgomery Ward Catalog so they could impress their friends. Our relationship to technology is one reason there are so many different models of everything. Bill next store has the 1923 Model T, but I went out and bought the brand new 1927 Model A. Both vehicles performed the same function, they took Bill and his neighbor from one place to another. Why the need for another model? Self-conception. I want newer, fancier, better. It’s like children’s toys COLLECT ALL 3! The only differences between Teggasaur, Tegga-T, and Tegga-2 are how their index fingers are crooked slightly different. Damn straight we parents fall for this nonsense just to shut our kids up. As amazing as technology and instant media are, they do have negatives. Plenty of people live outside their means to “keep up with the Joneses.” People torture themselves to fit into the modern idea of pretty, handsome, sexy, fit. These are just a couple of examples of how people base their self-conceptions on media being streamed into their lives. A more dangerous and recent example is the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol. These insurgents connected and coordinated through modern technologies and media. They had spent months and years believing the false propaganda of extremists. They created their personal identities based on the leaders of these groups. Hopefully one day we can find a balance between the awesome power of media and technology. Less Bladerunner more Star Trek? We will probably end up like Battlestar Galactica (reboot).
*Excellent movie with David Duchovny Keeping Up with the Joneses, go watch it!