Entrer En Contact
Letters are a thing of the past but that's essentially how communication began, after in-person conversations of course. Back in the day, it was all about letters, followed by print which translated into newspapers and that's how any new piece of information was consumed outside your immediate circle. Then came the telegraph, followed by the rotary, followed by cable calling/and cable viewing followed by mobile, and then the internet.
Now as a generation that has seen a Nokia 3310 being replaced by the iPhone, or Wi-Fi replacing the infamous dial-up connection, the evolution of the internet isn't actually history for us. It is very much something we have lived through. The reason for me to sit here, and take a quick jog down this progression is due to my nomadic mind nudging me on one very obvious question; getting to it in just a line (or maybe few)...stay with me.
As overachieving species, we have worked very hard in the last few decades trying to achieve mediums, more efficient than the previous to improve communications with each other.
The motive has always been making communication: Quicker. Clearer. Simpler.
Whether it is the advance from letters to print, to calls, to SMS, to instant messaging, to real-time online conversations - we haven't left anything untapped, aside from mind-reading, haha.
The question I come with today, to tug on moments of your consciousness, is that with all of these mediums of communications at our convenience...are we really communicating better?
Undoubtedly, the speed of communication has been answered, so has the clarity, and with so many tools at our disposal it is much simpler to bridge the gaps, and make this world more tight-knit...but I can't help but wonder if, in this process have we lost the essence of communication?
Isn't the whole point of communication being a two-way street instead of the adapted version where one says what they need to, without pausing to listen to what's being communicated back?
For example, the biggest problem I have is with the people that ring you up, when they could be just WhatsApping you (why do people even do that?!) and before you have said, "Hello," in comes a "Hey, called you because..."
I mean, where did the, "how are you," part go? In the rarity, should the etiquettes appear, they are just a speedy obligation, where the response isn't cared for; the reason of the call jumps right into the same sentence of the, "hey, how are you, I called you because..." Ever noticed this?
Drawing back to what I said above, why call when you can just WhatsApp? I think almost everyone I know has a resistance on getting on a call - they prefer being texted, myself included. Infact, recently I got a DM from a close friend, asking me if she could call me, before she actually called me because she knows I hate getting on calls...I mean, so many courses of communication, but I repeat, are we really communicating?
We have "simplified" the genres of conversations we would like to have based on the platforms, where we reserve the professional ones for LinkedIn/Slack/Teams on the never-ending channels, or the family/friendly ones for Facebook/Instagram, the speedy updates for Twitter, the not so innocent ones for Tinder, and of course, let's not leave out the WhatsApp groups, and subgroups with friends, families, colleagues etc.
Countless channels, multiple apps, and endless methods...but we still lack in communicating with each other.
Isn't communication also about listening to what the other person has to say...not just listening to give your POV but instead, really just hearing. Lending a ear to that someone to talk about a good/bad/informative piece of something they'd like to share, or communicating to co-create an idea together, or maybe just debate or whatever the topic of conversation may be...just hearing someone out, and then replying as opposed to rushed conversations filled with abbreviations or one word messages?
We are the generation that has lost all spirit of patience and need to be continually refreshed on every single platform of communications, with every single new update. Ever notice how you switch from refreshing your Instagram feed, to Stories, to Facebook, to Twitter, to WhatsApp to Mails to the next religiously and exhaustingly...with the circle replicating compulsively, every 10 - 15 mins?
Do you ever pause to wonder why? What is this compulsive need to know everything, about everyone, all the time?
We've reduced to having conversations on our 'smart phones,' with our entire extended social circle, at one go while completely omitting someone in the same room sitting right in front of us.
What could be simpler, clearer and quicker than this?
With love, and a nudge to entrer en contact s'il vous plaît, i.e. get in touch, please,
Stories By Giggles