How To Communicate Effectively Online?
Communication is a two-way street. We live in a digital age. Everything takes place online, it may be shopping, holding a meeting, or even ordering groceries.
Effective communication isn’t just necessary but a necessity. Especially in the times of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the entire world has shifted its activities online like Education, virtual tours, work, entertainment, medical, etc.
With the lockdown, many have been stranded alone, so it makes it more relative to understand the significance of effectively communicating online. Successful relationships, whether in our personal or professional lives, depend on effective communication. These few points will emphasize on how to effectively communicate.
It’s crucial to maintain the netiquette. It’s the framework of accepted behavior when communicating online. Just as there are some unsaid etiquettes that one follows when meeting someone, likewise there are netiquettes to be followed online. If not adhered to them, you may come across as rude and impolite which can have a backlash on your social standing.
When meeting physically, the body language and facial expression of the interviewee can tell a lot about the performance whereas when connecting through online platforms like e-mail, voice, or video call, one has to be a bit more careful while communicating.
When writing, try to use formal words like kindly, please, so that we come across as kind and humble whereas in video calling, smile, don’t move the hand a lot, and most importantly have a good internet connection for smooth talks. An impression lasts forever.
“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.”
Usage of Clear Language
The usage of clear language helps in transcending what the speaker/ writer wants to convey. With the advent of technology and access to various online platforms, often vagueness and confusion are sensed pertaining to communication. This makes things open for interpretation which doesn’t lead to a positive conclusion.
As the internet is accessible to everyone now, it’s easy to put forward views which often leads to the spread of negativity and deviation from the topic of discussion. So, it’s very important to write in a simple yet clear tone.
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It is also important to understand that just using clear language isn’t enough, one has to be politically correct when writing or speaking, i.e.; we should be extremely careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who have a disadvantage, or who have been treated differently because of their sex, race, or disability.
In recent times, there has been a debate about the importance of correct usage of language, a more inclusive language. Many speak without thinking which may hurt the sentiments of other communities or individuals. In the 21st century when everybody’s level of awareness has increased, one shall be aware of the importance of being politically correct. It doesn’t take time to get at a person’s mistake and so one shall initiate a conversation with a conscious mind and usage of language.
Choice of Platform
We shall wisely choose the platform we want to use to share our thoughts. We need to know the kind of online communication that will best suit our purposes like emails, Facebook, podcast, etc for formal, WhatsApp, or Instagram for informal conversations.
Covid-19 has taken a huge toll on people’s mental health. There is uncertainty about jobs, education, and many more things. Many are alone, burdened with work, or are unable to visit therapists. There have been surveys that show the increase in mental health issues, anxiety, and depression. There are various sites like safe spaces where one can vent out their emotions like Now&Me which focus on mental health and such related problems. These platforms can be therapeutic for many.
Attack the Topic, Not the Person
We need to understand to attack the topic, not the person. Often people end up attacking the person who is addressing the problem or a particular issue from a poor procedure or lack of clarity. It must be understood as to why he/she is talking about it and from what background and understanding they come from. As people have access to the internet, many resort to bully and online abuse. So, it’s advisable to always address the issue, rather than blaming the person. Try to understand why someone is talking about that issue and do our part of the research.
Keep it positive!
The online world has its drawbacks as well. Use the platform to spread positivity. Encourage other people’s work, talk about body positivity, ways of helping people, and use various online sources to reduce the negativity.
The online world is often used as an escape from the usual life. Think before one post negative or inappropriate things. This is an extremely important point to be remembered, one should never use online websites as their personal diary, If writing about the negative, inappropriate, or hurtful to others. They can severely hinder our efforts to create a positive online presence.
“Believe half of what we see and nothing we read online”, said Pablo Reyes.
Don’t talk without complete knowledge. With the decreasing number of gatekeepers from news sources, misinformation is difficult to contain. Many people are misinformed about various issues and end up posting whatever they know about it on the internet which has an undesirable repercussion. Try to say things correctly the first time. If we spot that there is an error in the information provided correct it as soon as possible.
Don’t believe everything that’s written on the internet or social media platform. What’s an app, the internet can be wrong at times. For instance, forwarded messages often spread hate, misinformation, and confusion. This shall be avoided at all costs, so it’s advisable to crosscheck the information being put out on the internet. Remember there is permanence in online platforms.
Keeping the objective in mind is crucial which also allows the audience to follow the chain of thoughts clearly and understand the outcome. Be clear as to what we want to speak or write on. This will prevent one from deviation and misinterpretation. Also, when communicating verbally or in a written form, do it the way you expect the audience to react. This will help is better work and quicker decision making. Try to keep the conversation simple and avoid sarcastic comments.
Keeping it simple can be interpreted as the need not to use rhetoric or floury terms while communicating but rather understandable ones. This will go a long way to help people in grasping the meaning effectively. For instance, I personally lose interest if something is written in a complicated way, for which I have to refer to the dictionary. Keeping the conversation/ writing simple will help in catering to a larger audience and this can also be used to address important issues. The simpler the better.
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. It’s also important to be a good listener. Listening without distraction allows you to gauge the level of interest of the target audience and helps one to modify our delivery, making it more impactful.
So, effective communication is very important in today’s time and era. It helps in building trust within individuals and companies, improves productivity and planning. These are the few ways that one shall remember when communicating on any online platform.
Edited by Annanya Chaturvedi