Taking time out from her busy schedule and family, Dawn and I met over Skype for the first time. We both admitted we were very new to this, but we also marveled at how useful it could be in our lives. Dawn told me about her “trial Skype” with her sister 3 states away from her. “Why didn’t we do this before?” she asked her sister.
Before I talked with Dawn, I hadn’t had a “real” conversation with another student in our class. We introduced ourselves and talked about our journeys to this point in our lives: being students in Queen’s online communications program. Overall, Dawn chose the program because she wanted to have a more well-rounded education, a skill set closer to her career as a marketing manager. She wanted her education to match what she was doing in the field. She looked at several programs and almost applied to the FAU communications program. But because it was mix of online and traditional, she felt she couldn’t apply, because it wouldn’t be flexible enough to complete her work, have a full-time job and tend to her 5-year-old. Then Dawn found out about the Queens program from an email linked to the PR Weekly magazine’s online newsletter.
But instead of just learning about Dawn the person, I also learned a lot about how we communicate. It is amazing how much we say when we look at each other than when we email or even tweet each other. I felt as if I had known Dawn for a great deal longer than the fifteen minutes we talked to each other. The non-verbal component of communication is just as important as the words people say to each other. That’s why I feel the element of video is a must now for digital media outlets. The level of familiarity we gain when we have a casual conversation with someone face-to face I think makes us feel more apt to communicate. We don’t just learn about the other person, we learn about ourselves as well.