The greatest single influence to living a meaningful and fulfilling life is high quality personal relationships. Nearly everything that we will achieve in life will be through people, with people and by people, so we need to develop our girls’ interpersonal skills to communicate including:
using and reading positive body language messages
recognising inference, bias and emphasis in conversations
developing relationships through face to face conversations
learning to listen with their eyes, their ears and their hearts
valuing and considering other peoples’ opinions because they matter
being present and mindful in each and every moment.
Our girls are digitally confident and in most situations, prefer communicating with their devices rather than having face to face personal conversations with others. Because of this lack of in person interaction, many students are not learning how to read or send appropriate body language messages. They are also missing out on the magnificent feelings which come from serotonin and oxytocin, the brain chemicals released during in person communication. We all possess mirror neurons, which copy the expressions, moods and feelings of those around us, but not from electronic communication. As such, we need to create opportunities for them to experience the beauty of in person connection.
The other side of this story is the lack of emotional context when sending and receiving messages in the digital world. Especially during the hormonal teen years, digital communications can easily be misinterpreted leading to further communication issues. The digital medium limits our communication to mainly the written word and without the human aspect of body language, facial expressions, tone and volume; the all important context of emotion is missing. Nothing will ever replace a good cuppa and a chat.
Deputy Principal (Students)