Field Manual for Change: Communication



What is Communication?

Communication is the exchange of information, whether it be through speaking, writing, or using some other medium, like phones or computers. but it can also be broken down into 4 categories:

– Verbal: speaking and engaging in a conversation; face-to-face, telephone, radio or television or other media

– Non-Verbal: body language, gestures, how we dress or act – even our scent.

– Written: letters, e-mails, books, magazines, the Internet or via other media.

– Visualizations: graphs, charts, maps, logos and other visualizations can communicate messages

In the context of the K app, communication today has drastically changed with the advancement in technology and resources. Also, with the growing number of smartphone users, and the accessibility to the internet and wi-fi, we are definitely headed towards a more digital approach to communication.

We live in a world where face-to-face communication is deemed as ‘weird’ especially with almost everyone having an online/digital persona versus their ‘in real life’ persona. Texts and messaging through phones and  computers have led to us holding back on emotions and gestures we would use in a face-to-face conversation, and causes us to speak and act differently than what we would normally do.


What needs to change?  What are the risks?

Today, the rise in smartphones have lead to people being exposed to phones and computers at an early age. With children from 3 years old playing games on an iPad to children as young as 7, already owning their own phone.

So whats the problem exactly? The age at which children are being exposed to technology has decreased, and will most likely change the next generation’s mentality and behaviour towards communicating with others. But not only children, but teens and adults who are heavy users of technology seem to ‘lose themselves’ in their devices.

Are we too dependent on technology? Communication is a vital part of life, especially at the years where we are slowly developing our senses, and constantly learning new things. There are even applications for toddlers on mobiles and tablets, which promote the use of these devices at an early age.

Of course, we live in an ever-changing world, and to think that gradual technology use is a bad thing, is very close-minded. That isn’t the issue here however, it’s the idea of technology use at a very early age, and probably changing the mentality and behaviour of the next generation.

What did you have growing up? How much different would it be if you grew up in the world today with new toys, technology and forms of entertainment? So much has changed in the past 10 years with technology, and even only a couple of years with communication devices. So even though the exposure to technology at an early age seems inevitable, there are some positive and well as negative points to look at.


What are the advantages and disadvantages? Face-to face VS Online/Digital

Communication focuses a lot on response, looking especially at exchanging, the sending and receiving of information between people, or a person and object.

Smartphones and even technology in general have always focused on convenience, speed and accessibility, and constantly improve with every iteration. App developers are constantly dematerialising activities that would normally take 10 seconds to do (checking a calendar, looking at the time), and add these new ‘features’ in mobile devices for convenience.

Whats so good about it? Adding these type of features cuts down the time and energy do them ‘normally’, letting you use your energy elsewhere. Because mobile phones have now become the new ‘pocket knife’, there is no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot more crazy uses for a phone in the upcoming years.

With the new features of phones, they can be a huge distraction. With the growing number off apps, the amount of helpful and useful apps are overshadowed by the amount of entertainment and gaming apps. The main use of the phone has also been lost under the sea of features, so even though phones have become more convenient, the amount of time people spend on them have ruined its true purpose.

Communication through the internet and mobiles have changed how we present ourselves in real life and through the internet:

Face-to-face, speaking and responding:

 More responsive, we have a better idea of the thoughts and ideas the other person is trying to get across.

 Being able to hear and see each other’s, body language and how they respond are useful to understand the message they are trying to send

 Confrontation can be very nerve-racking for some people, but can help with confidence and the way you respond to people along the line.

Through digital media, not talking directly to each other

 People seem more relaxed when talking through the internet or phones.

 Because of the internet, people tend to have different online and real life personas, mainly because they tend to speak their mind more than they would in person

 We have even developed a new language, and acronyms to make communicating more faster/understandable e.g. LOL, TTYL, YOLO

 Trolls, Rants, Scams, Hate and other pessimistic things are a result of the internet and online communication. People speaking their mind can lead to some negative impacts


What can you do to help?


There are a HUGE catalogue of applications that cater to everone, from lifestyle, entertainment and gaming especially. If you want to reduce the amount of usage:

– See which apps you actively use, and remove apps that haven’t been used in the past month. or better yet, remove all gaming and entertainment apps.

– Limiting your phone/internet usage is probably the hardest thing to do, but putting in the effort to do so helps each time. makes you more aware of what and why you’re using the device for.

Gamification and Usage

App creators look at the idea of Gamification, and trying to lure people into continuously using their product, whether it be through rewards, incentives, progression awards etc, It also influences a specific behaviour whether it be good or bad.

– What are you getting out of the app/device? Will it be useful in the future? Try to cut down the usage on apps especially gaming apps like candy crush, draw my thing.

– Games that include constant rewards and leveling systems are more likely to keep users interested, not only does it give people a sense of accomplishment, but receiving rewards can make you keep playing and earning more rewards


Mobiles and Tablets have become accessible to people from all ages, with developers even creating apps for toddlers as young as 3 for ‘learning’ This early exposure to technology may or may not turn out to be a good thing for the child, but it is much better to be safe and hold off a few years.

– Do these child/learning apps really help develop children’s brains/ sense of sight, and hearing? Important to note if children are even supposed to be looking at screens at an early age.

– Despite the fact that devices today aim for accessibility, the target audience has spread from a teenage/young audience to kids as young as 10 to elderly.

– Understand the risks of giving kids a mobile phones or other devices that have internet access, eyesight, usage, language, attitude. Do they really need it?

There are several other ways in which you can cut down usage of devices, which can help you in the long run, and it’s better off to have a strong mentality towards technology usage and limiting yourself at an early stage. These ‘tips’ aren’t for everybody and those who WANT to change their lifestyle. as well as the K app and other lifestyle apps. It’s important to remember what communication is and the benefits of face-to face versus digital. As much as we embrace the technological advancements, doesn’t mean we have to throw away the old.


What is Communication?


Gamification techniques used today

Internet Slang and Language

The evolution of Communication

1 thought on “Field Manual for Change: Communication

  1. Pingback: Self-Reflection | Advocacy | Activism | Agency

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