This article provides a somewhat humorous, yet real, look at the effect of communication technology on human interactions. Volunteers at the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, Ohio ask each spectator whether they have cellular telephones upon entrance to the course. PGA rules prohibit cell phones on courses during tournaments to prevent golfers from being distracted. Increasingly, spectators are seen in possession of phones around the greens. The article provides an excellent backdrop for helping individuals realize how technology can intrude and inhibit effective interactions.
M1. When volunteer John Massara says, “Everyone lies,” it is a serious indictment on human behavior. Discuss the general importance of credibility in communication and talk about the factors (even in the article) that might lead Mr. Massara to be skeptical.
M2. What communication barrier does a ringing cell phone represent when two (or more) people are interacting? Why is this a problem?
M3. Although not a problem related to the article, technology is changing the way we communicate in positive and negative ways. Consider the implications of cell phones. Discuss this issue in the general sense of how texting is affecting communication and in terms of how the choice of channel influences communication effectiveness.
SOURCE: K. L. Gray, “No Phone? Sure,” Columbus Dispatch (Retrievable online at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/06/05/no-phonesure.html)
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