Dr. Rob Erickson reflects on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected communication, and our ability to understand & build relationships with each other in MyView: Changes of COVID -19 Part 2.
Technology has been the hub of the ability for most of the communication that has taken place over the past years. As technology continues to develop, so too will the methodologies that we engage each other. In healthcare, we have seen the implementation of video visits and phone visits (telehealth). School systems, churches, and many businesses have done their teaching, instruction, and job functions completely online.
A lot of what we have communicated over the past year has been written or verbalized on smart devices. The missing pieces are the expressions, mannerisms, countenance, and impressions that provide the full meaning of the communication. So what have I witnessed as an early effect? Individualism has risen, team has diminished. Sociability has decreased, and distant reservedness increased.
My professional view on communication in general is that technology will not slow down nor should it. Strictly from a pragmatic standpoint, let’s not forget the significance of the face-to-face communication. Let’s not forget the expressions and mannerisms that are about what has been voiced.
Why is it that seeing and being with someone is so much more meaningful than just a written or verbal message through some conduit? It’s because the whole of the essence of what you want to say or get across comes from more than what’s verbalized. This past year has been difficult as many people haven’t had the opportunity to be face-to-face with those they love or care about.
As a Family Practitioner we will continue to implement new strategies to engage with you, but we will never forget the importance of the relationship foundation and the additional things that contribute to meaningful communication. The integration of our technological abilities and understanding the importance of relationship building through communication is paramount for us to be better as caregivers and as people who serve and work in our communities.
Remember there is more to what’s behind the mask, behind the post, and beyond the blogs.
- Your Family Doc, Dr Robert Erickson
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