The Communication Situation


Kaitlyn Ryberg

Student talks on the phone with a friend while stuck at home.

Kaitlyn Ryberg, Writer

A big struggle that was apparent while we were online was the miscommunication through a screen. Some students already struggle with figuring out the tone in real life and taking away the ability to lean on others around them to react appropriately led to them not participating. Even though we are back in person, some students are finding it harder to reconnect with the people around them. After being secluded to mainly our houses for over a month, lots of people have lost the confidence in communication they had just gotten back. 

Even when you just sit down in a classroom, there aren’t as many conversations going on and students seem to be working more on their own even when offered the idea of working in small groups. Students that were quiet before we went virtual seem to be keeping even more to themselves and asking for less help. With the first semester limiting the availability of communication and leading to a disconnect between students, academics and participation dropped. Even though we are now in person, that disconnect seems to still be present which could lead to another bad semester.

We have spent the past year talking mainly through our cellular devices and with that, people are mainly texting. Many people have not been talking to people outside of their immediate families on a daily basis which has led to people’s communication skills worsening. 

One of the main things we should be striving for this year is to reach out more and talk to others. Students and teachers have not been able to form as deep of a connection with each other as previous years because they were not able to communicate. This has led to many students being wary about going to ask a teacher something, showing a lack of trust. As humans, we are social creatures and with the past year taking away many people’s only access to their friends, we have been struggling. 

When we came back, everything was thrown at us: having to re-acclimate to the number of people and to the long days and the social situations. Over the past few weeks, there has been some progress in the amount people are talking, but it still seems separate and sometimes even forced. 

My Experience

I have always struggled with fully connecting with people and this year made it even harder. Many of my friendships went through hard spots because of miscommunication or simply no communication. Even when we were told we could meet up and see each other, it was not as exciting as it would have been before. All of us came out drained of all energy and numb by the end. This was discouraging to me as I have always known that I could lean on my friends, and when I was with them I would be able to recharge my battery. Many things in my personal life have changed and I was scared that our dynamic had changed as well. 

Over my time at this school, I have noticed many things, but one of the main ones is this disconnect. So many kids are just able to jump into any situation and not seem terrified that they will react wrong or read a situation incorrectly. Being around new people and in louder spaces has always been a struggle for me, but I didn’t fully realize it until after the first shutdown. When we came back, the noises seemed more present and all of the conversations happening at once just became overwhelming. This led to even more disconnect between me are the people around me. Even though I have started to handle these situations better, there still is that feeling of not being present in these social situations. My goal is to make new connections and communicate more as I have learned why it is so important. 

Overall, we should work towards finding that communication and checking on people over the phone, not just sending them a three-word text. Even if some people do not believe that we do need to be social, still try to be.  If the person does not pick up, try again later and leave them a message. As social creatures, we should at least try to be social for the betterment of ourselves and the people around us. 

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