Stories about communication

Parenting the digital generation

It is normal now days to see very young children in Pakistan confidently operating technology, possessing cell phones and using social media. A seventh grader can multi tasking; constantly uses SMS to communicate, spending a lot of time online, staying connected with people through the social media and surfing the net and checks out brainpop.com to get homework help while simultaneously listening to his/her iPod. Many young people have blogs by the age of 13-14 years now. So, even if their essays or stories do not receive a good grade in class, or their ideas and thoughts are not entertained ...

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19 reasons why I’d rather text than talk

According to a PEW report quoted in the New York Times one in three teenagers sends more than 100 text messages a day, and a whopping 72 per cent are now official ‘text-messagers,’ compared with just 51 per cent in 2006. Sure enough, messaging has now become the most popular method of communication – beating not just phone calls, e-mails and the much-hyped social networking sites, but face-to-face communication as well.. What is the unvarnished truth? Many of us prefer exchanging text messages to having an actual conversation. Now ‘prefer’ is a strong word; it shows that given an option, the average teenager would ...

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Lush language: new words for a new generation

Time is short. Life is full. Too much to share. Let’s micro-communicate. Say it all, in a few words. The new micro-lingo seems to be a word-conservation drive, where you pack a lot of meaning into a few catchy memorable words; this language sticks in the mind like no other. It’s entertainingly expressive, creatively concise and just flows fast and runs deep. Read on to see how. It’s where the punch is “I dined out at this new restaurant. What wah wah food they had there.” “I went to this concert. What wehshee music. Uff I loved it.” For the uninitiated in the ...

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My Blackberry and me: A love-hate relationship

I was meeting my friend after 18 months. We hadn’t seen each other since our college days and athough we had kept in touch, Skype is really not an adequate substitute for a face-to-face conversation. Needless to say, I was looking forward to meeting and catching up. Conversation started, we laughed, we talked but she devoted an absurdly large amount of attention to her BlackBerry. Every three minutes there would be a ‘ting’ after which she would pick up her phone and read something, smile, giggle or frown, and type furiously. The first few times, I waited patiently and listened to ...

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Ask questions, your doctor isn’t psychic

Miscommunications are part of daily routine.  You order a large Coke and no fries at a restaurant and the waiter brings you extra fries and a regular Fanta.  You ask a classmate for physiology notes and she photocopies the entire term’s anatomy notes and presents them to you the next day. But there’s one place miscommunication can be a serious problem. Having spent time on both sides of the physician-patient fence, I’ve started noticing how doctors often do not explain stuff adequately and patients will not ask enough questions, resulting in huge communication gaps.  In a clinical setting, these gaps ...

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The cost of technology

Humans are exposed to technology on a daily basis. There is no doubt that it has blessed us in many ways and if it wasn’t for the wonders of technology, we would still be living in the dark ages. However, at the same time, it is important to maintain a balance. For starters, children are no longer interested in outdoor activities anymore. They would much rather be engrossed in their Play Stations and Wii. The culture of reading books is dying out. We would rather spend time watching TV and spend countless hours on the internet. Another important factor is the decline of ...

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Are you an SMS junkie?

As I look around, I see everyone firing away at the keys of their mobile phones at supersonic speed. It’s unnerving, and sometimes I feel that we really have been invaded by these miniscule hand-held devices. Sure, it’s great technology and life has definitely become easier, convenient and faster in a lot of ways but they say excess of anything is bad. It is quite correct about incessant text messaging as well which, in my opinion, is not only an addictive nuisance but also causes repetitive strain injury. In the past few years, I have almost become allergic to text messaging ...

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The importance of being heard

“And you’re listening to FM 100… “Aapka apna radio station… “The heartbeat of Pakistan… These tag lines sound familiar to all of us. Because at some point of the day, most probably while driving, we have all tuned into our favourite FM station. Whether you are enjoying the ride back home while listening to music or catching up on breaking news, it is quite common for these teasers to resonate in your car. Over the years, radio channels have saliently impacted our lives -not just for their entertainment value, but in the case of the recently mushroomed FM radio channels, by providing a ...

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We’re being stalked by Ufone, Mobilink, Telenor et al!

While surfing through channels yesterday, I saw an ad about ‘talking’ and ‘shawking‘. For the umpteenth time, I realised we are being pushed into a culture of ‘talk more’. Have you ever noticed the plethora of telecommunication advertisements? They are everywhere. Switch on  the radio and the same advertisements are being aired, with their not-so-subtle offers to talk at the cheapest rates in the world. Open a newspaper and the big expensive adverts glare back at you. Lets not forget the huge billboards adorning the city. Its like the advertisement companies and the telecommunication business are following you everywhere. Even if by ...

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I love Facebook (sort of)

Old people, parents, employers and techno-phobes all love to expound on the many reasons to just bite your lip, rip off the Band-Aid and be done with Facebook forever, but most of us don’t really care. I’m going to be honest-the usual reasons people give for why social networking is such an insidious villain to the average twenty-something don’t matter to me at all. I don’t really feel that that my real personality is being compromised in favour of a Facebook-friendly version of it. I don’t have any secret sex tapes or otherwise questionable content floating around cyberspace and I ...

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