Ahh, the naivete of your usual suspects at #SMXChat. Through it all, thick and thin, we believe in the outmoded intention of social media as a communication channel! Well, yeah, we guess it is serving it’s intended purpose, if only partially. If you count a whole lot of pushing content for commercial and personal agendas. But to us, COMMUNICATION connotes the expression of meaningful information with the result of creating understanding. There is precious little of that happening on social media these days.

So this week we’re gonna press the issue with our guest Brett Pucino. We’ve invited Brett to share his academic background in communication studies along with his real-life experiences as a writer, blogger, and social media conversationalist. You see, we think that if one looks closely and carefully at how we converse and communicate on social media, you can gain significant insight into what makes people tick. Agree or disagree?

@eksays has said many times that social media has existed as long as written language has. The symbols on the walls of cave dwellings 40,000 years ago was social media! One wonders just how far we’ve progressed since then, communication-wise.

coomunicationBrett reveals that communication is a process. Before the digital age, it was written, verbal, and non-verbal. How has the digital medium changed these aspects of communication?

Communication is content, or a message. Words, symbols, and body language that convey your message. How does our content express information about us?

And communication is context. The psychological and environmental factors that affect how your message is interpreted. Is communication without context of any value at all?

So let’s not bash technology as the fall of effective communication. One can argue that technology increases communication, right? By making your message available to a lot more people. The question, though, is how do we make digital connections and communication analogous to in-person conversation? Or can we?

It is the non-verbal aspects of communication that are challenging to express via a digital medium. But not impossible. Like the symbols on the cave walls 40,000 years ago, symbols can express emotion and context. Don’t symbolic tools like GIFs, emoji and memes express a non-verbal message?

At the outset, we established our ideal that communication be purposeful in resulting in understanding. Now, the communicator has the obligation to express their self clearly. Meaning, if you have something to say, say it as efficiently and effectively as you can. But the receiver also has a responsibility to listen. What is the process ‘listening’ like on digital and social media?

Which brings us to the topic of behavior. And behaviors. In the sense of being good digital and social citizens. And in the sense of establishing the specific actions that make communication effective. How do we conduct ourselves in the digital and social realms to make our best effort to communicate clearly?

Q1) What are your Principles of Communication? #SMXChat

Q2) How is digital communication, specifically through social media, different from in-person communication? #SMXChat

Q3) What are the “nonverbals” of digital communication? What role do they play? #SMXChat

Q4) How important is “listening” in digital communication? How do you “listen” on a platform like Twitter, where most of the messages are written? #SMXChat

Q5) What behaviors does a good communicator exhibit on social media? #SMXChat

Brett Pucino is a writer, blogger and social media conversationalist whose passions include personal branding, personal development and career branding. He resides just up the Hudson River from the greatest city in the world. Connect with Brett on Twitter @BPucino.