Talk, tweet or type it out

The importance of communication

Rita Chetty, Staff Writer

Illustration by Gabrialla Cockerell

Communication wears many hats. Perhaps it is a heartfelt confession of feelings between a couple, a shouting match between an athlete and a referee or a string of comments from strangers on the Internet.

Communication is seen by many to be a necessity for many situations. When it comes to sharing what one is feeling or addressing serious personal issues, the best route can be to simply have a conversation.

Establishing dialogue between roommates might be the best way to avoid any potential misunderstanding. With proper interpersonal skills, roommates can easily talk about things such as people visiting the room or about chores that have to be done.

Second-year cell and molecular biology major Akira Copeland mentioned how simple communication practices between roommates can improve daily routines and discussions about any changes in their schedules.

“For roommates, I think [communication] would be helpful if they want people over, or if you need time to study or something,” Copeland said. “You can always have your set time. You could also talk to your roommate about it and be like, ‘I need this time to do this’ or ‘I would like it if you would do that.’”

While it is important to organize proper communication skills with newfound companions, it is just as necessary with long-term relationships.

Second-year visual communications major Briana Ice brought up how communication itself is necessary for keeping a healthy relationship, be it romantic, platonic or familial.

“Yes, I believe communication is the most important in a relationship, especially when it comes to the romantic ones,” Ice said. “Misunderstandings can form very easily when you can’t talk the little stuff out. If you have a question, just ask it. It’s for the better.”

For many out-of-state Seattle Pacific University students, not being a Seattle native can cause hardships when it comes to finding friends and connections.

First-year business administration major Aiden Blanco discussed how communication can help make connections, which leads to many new friendships and less feelings of loneliness.

“Communication helps others, because it gives others support. If someone is not familiar with the area, then having friends to talk to who are helps a ton,” Blanco said. “This allows out-of-state students to really enjoy their visit without the constant worry of being alone while in a new environment.”

Social media can also help in the pursuit of finding new friends and keeping in touch with those who are miles away. Apps like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook allow many to stay in touch with those not around them.

Ice spoke about how being able to see facial expressions over a video chat or picture can be seen as a way to avoid miscommunication.

“Snapchat is what I use the most, ‘cause then I can see the face of the person I’m talking to. This helps with knowing the tone the person is talking in,” Ice said.

On the other hand, Copeland commented on how being able to reach a wider audience can be seen as an advantage to getting one’s word across.

“I usually use my messaging app and Twitter. I think Twitter is a pretty good app because you can communicate with a whole bunch of people, and it’s very diverse,” Copeland said. “So you can just post something, add a hashtag and anyone can respond.”

Learning how to avoid misunderstandings can be very beneficial, but it does not exactly come easy for everyone. Blanco offered tips for how communication can aid many individuals in their search to become more direct and confront their issues.

“Always be honest about what you mean,” Blanco said. “No matter if it’s painful, it allows growth. Don’t overcomplicate your words. Get straight to the point and avoid unnecessary time confusing or hurting the ones you care about.”

When it comes to interpersonal situations, it is always important to voice out one’s true feelings to avoid any future frustration. When in doubt, talk it out.

“Communication has many pros, one of them is being able to understand others from a distance or through difficult circumstances,” Blanco said. “It’ll help out your situation more than you might think.”