Last Saturday I woke up in excitement knowing that was the day I was going to attend my favorite concert. I chose to conduct my iExamen on this day because I thought it would be interesting to see how I communicated with others and also to see how others communicated with me. I also chose this day because I would be traveling to DC with some friends and I wanted to see on a bigger scale how people communicated outside of the Loyola community.
I woke up and proceeded with my normal routine of reading and responding to text messages, then checking Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. At this point in my day the only form of communication I had was via technology. On the three social media spheres I picked up vast amounts of information from all of my friends from the common tweet “why am I awake right now” to a Facebook status giving me an update on my friends grandfather who is sick. I noticed that communication through technology is instantaneous and factual, either through texting, Facebook, or Twitter. It is hard to tell how people are really feeling because you cant see their faces and you cant tell what they are expressing through body language, you can only tell by their status’ or by the information they are telling you.
After my daily routine of checking my social medias I got up, got dressed, and prepared for my long day ahead of me. None of my roommates were awake at this point so I made myself breakfast and then called my Mom and Dad. Talking to my parents on Saturday mornings are my favorite. We have great conversation and I get updated on everything that is happening at home. This Saturday phone call was especially important because my mom was with my cousins who just had their second child and my mom was meeting him for the first time. During that phone call I spoke to my aunt and uncle, my cousins, and I spoke to Madeline, the “big sisstoor” of the baby. Everyone was so excited to welcome Connor James into the family. After talking on the phone, I had mixed feelings. I was so happy for my cousins but I was also sad that I wasn’t able to be home at this exciting time.
At this point in my day I observed that I still did not have any human communication because my roommates had still been asleep, so I decided to take a walk and pick up my mail. Walking out of my room I said hello to floor mates and held the elevator for some friends. In the elevator we talked about our weekend plans and I expressed my excitement for the concert I was going to. Walking to get my mail I communicated by waving or smiling at the people I knew. I picked up my mail and walked to my dorm where I read the letters my dad sent me. My dad writes me letters every weekday and we communicate through the letters and post cards we send to each other. This is my favorite way of communicating. I love opening the letters sitting down and taking time to read them. I love trying to decipher my dad’s intricate handwriting, and reflecting on the message he gives me in each letter. The letters are special to be because they are keepsakes that I can hold onto for the rest of my life.
At this point my roommates had finally woken up, after coming out of their groggy, slumbering states, we discussed our plans for getting to the concert, our outfits, and when we were going to leave. Later in the afternoon I decided that my hour unplugged I would spend cooking and having a nice meal with my roommates. I also asked my roommates to do the same. We all turned off technology and sat down and had a great chicken parmesan meal together. We all helped in making the meal and we all sat down together to eat. It was so nice to be separated from technology. It was a break because we could sit down and just have fun giggling and laughing about the good times we already shared with each other. It was a great experience and an eye opener, unplugging ourselves from technology. I want to incorporate it into my everyday routine to get some rest and reflection time everyday.
After dinner my roommates and I put on vibrant outfits and went to Penn to catch the Marc train to DC. We got weird looks from people because we were all dressed in bright colors and crazy patterns. It was funny to see the looks on people faces because we did look ridiculous but we were having fun. When we arrived in DC we had to switch from the Marc train to the Metro. Waiting for the Metro, we saw two boys dressed as equally ridiculous as we were and we asked them if they were going to the same Avicii concert as we were. It just so happens they were and we all went together. We talked to them and found out they were Australian and they were studying law at West Virginia University. It was so interesting to talk to them because we found out about their culture and they asked us about American culture. So far they were loving America but they also miss home a lot. We had an awesome time talking with them and learning all about their experiences in America. It was fun to meet new people and find out their stories.
The iExamen was such an overall great experience for me because I got to observe all the ways in which I communicate with others. Communication is one of the most important human skills. In order for people to build relationships we must communicate. Communication happens all around us and is continuous. One can communicate via technology, letters, or face to face. Noticing and observing all the different ways in which people communicate are so interesting. Looking at people’s reactions, facial expressions, and even something as simple as the tone of voice communicates different messages. I think communication is fascinating and I am interested to see what the future holds for communication.