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ADVAS / Natural Supports  / Booklet  / Real Talk: Tips for connections in a digital age


Real Talk: Tips for connections in a digital age


Technology and social media have changed how people communicate with one another. Texting and social posts have replaced most phone calls, and statistics show that some people might not be going out as much as they used to (both in pre-pandemic years and now). When people go out, research shows that most are using digital technology while socializing in person, and that’s causing them to disconnect from the people they are with.

As a natural support, you want to make good connections and communicate clearly. When you are supporting someone, always choose the most personal connection you can have in that moment.

Communication and Connection tips:

Always be mindful of what you are trying to communicate, that is to say, say what you mean to say. People who are feeling stressed may not be able to decipher the subtleties of your carefully crafted message, or they may not be able to understand your intent if you are not clear. An example of this is when someone uses indirect or soft language because they worry about upsetting someone. Instead, be thoughtful and intentional and speak clearly.

Example: I noticed that you have been away from class all week. I am worried that you might not be OK. I care about you and am ready to help. What is hurting you?

When speaking, use a soft but confident voice. Actively listen and respond when appropriate. Avoid jargon and filler words, and focus on saying things with meaning. Always be honest.

Be aware of your nonverbal communication, and be intentional about how you present your emotions and intentions through your body position and expressions.

When texting or emailing, aim for simplicity. Be clear and kind, and don’t presume that people can read your tone. Your words are your message – read them over again from the perspective of the reader, and adjust as appropriate.

Don’t post online about another person’s situation.