This semester, I’ll be teaching two sections of Interpersonal Communication. I couldn’t be more pleased to reacquaint myself with this course, as I have not taught it in several years. This is such a wonderful foundational course in communication, and it is the basis on which relationships are built, caressed, fostered, and extended. The textbook for the course, The Interpersonal Communication Book, by Joseph A. DeVito, has offered new insights into the course whereby DeVito includes new information about how we communicate online (just as I am doing here).
Online communication has become such a large part of our lives that it absolutely warrants attention. We have connections with people from all over the world on social media platforms. The way we relate online should be similar to how we communicate in person; that is, our personalities should shine through. We should be our authentic selves. And yet, sometimes we are not.
On a platform such as Instagram, where we connect with people regularly through photographs and captions and messages, being seen as genuine can be a challenge, because we always want to put our best foot forward. DeVito suggests that we allow ourselves to be real as we communicate. Yesterday, I read a blog post about how to communicate best on social media and the suggestion was to pretend you are speaking with just one other person, not a mass of people. And there you have it: interpersonal communication. As DeVito states: “Interpersonal communication takes place within a relationship—it has an impact on the relationship; it defines the relationship.”
I have a wide range of interesting activities planned for this course. We’re also going to read The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom along with the textbook, and the students will have a project around that book.Typically, I teach a heavy load of writing courses, where writing is the focus. This semester, I’ll teach two sections of interpersonal communication, where relationships are at the core of the course. I’ll also be teaching one magazine writing course, and one public relations writing course. I love that kind of diversity in a semester where I get to do a little of both—writing and a communication foundational course.
Now that my syllabi are complete, I can spend some more time reading and preparing. I’m looking forward to meeting my new students in less than two weeks!
On the writing front, I’m looking forward to doing a library talk in my hometown of Severna Park on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Severna Park Library. I’ll have handouts and exercises to help your writing, and books for sale that I will sign as well. As writing is such a love of mine, I look forward to helping others along the way with their writing process.
Hope your week is going well!
Stephanie Verni is Professor of Communication at Stevenson University. She has authored five works of fiction and one academic text on Event Planning. Her character-driven books are typically set in Maryland to showcase the beauty of her state. Connect with her on Instagram at stephanie.verni or on Twitter at @stephverni. Or, visit her Amazon page at Stephanie Verni, Author.