PEOPLE around the world are connected and communicating unlike any other point in human history. Industries are being created around this massive ability we now have, to keep in touch with each other in any form we can think of.
To put it in perspective; Facebook was recently listed on Wall Street with a value $104 billion.
That right there is a big indicator that we are using it and other platforms to communicate, and communicate like crazy.
Take a seat at the Centro eatery and look around, odds are you are going to see someone playing with their phone while lunching with a friend.
They will be texting, tweeting, taking photos of their lunch to tweet about it, and even messaging the person opposite them.
I’m guilty of this too. I can be caught there with my iPad checking emails while the husband tries to get my attention.
So I ask with a little reservation, since I am the owner of a very large Twitter account and Facebook page or two.
Is this really communicating with each other? Is it possible that we are becoming disconnected in being connected?
A recent study in the US showed that a third of all adults preferred to text message, rather than call someone.
Think about the implications this may have on our ability to communicate face to face.
Although I’m sure less spouses are being shouted at for being late, and they’ve got to be happy with that. I have read that marital relationships are stronger due to text message communication, but I digress.
I’m talking about the art of conversation.
Even the late Steve Jobs, one of the creators of the iPhone which has opened the doors for us to communicate without contact, preferred to face to face negotiation rather than email.
Conversations no longer run what should be their usual course.
They can now take days to finish, or even be one sided depending on who you are trying to engage. We get in the habit of transmitting short pieces of information, and it is probable that the quality of our interaction with each other is going to degenerate.
It probably already has. Have you tried getting your teenagers attention lately? Maybe try texting them, this is once you can translate their text speak, and then you may have a way to engage them.
Try your hand at this example: cn u pik me ^ plz mum I’m @ d mackers. I won’t lie to you, I had to read that a couple of times.
Last month I travelled alone, but not really. I travelled with a group of people I didn’t know and was not often able to use my devices to electronically communicate.
And so I was able to connect with this group, and enjoyed hours and hours of very pleasant conversation and forged new friendships.
I had almost forgotten what a good conversation was like.
For conversation to remain we have to remember to do it the old fashioned way every now and then, before it becomes ingrained not to and we become afraid of it.
It’s time to sit down and have a chat.
Oh and did you get the text speak example? Can you pick me up please mum I’m at the McDonalds.
I would be late collecting them because I’d be there trying to work out what they said. Sorry kids, mum’s getting old and I’m just not hip enough.