Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Are people talking more or less these days?

With the emergence of WhatsApp and social media I wonder whether people are talking less but connecting more. Are these connections of any substance and if not then what kind of communication is it?

We are truly living in the age of technology and social media but how much of an impact is it having on our daily lives and our interpersonal interactions? Are we losing the ability to "be social"?




These days it is considered normal to have your telephone lying next to you on the dinner table. If you get a message you read it, checking yourself out of the physical interactions around the table. In the 20th century this was unheard of. The dinner table was for talking about your day, school, plans for the weekend. Not for responding to the latest WhatsApp message or Facebook post.




So we have become more socially interactive but in reality, less socially active. We are all used to seeing people with their heads bent over their smart phones, busy checking their latest messages and un-social media posts. This behaviour was borne in by the Xennials, inherent in Millenials, and second nature in the Generation X-ers. It is imprinted in their DNA. 

As a Xennial I experienced life without and with modern information technology. Today's young professionals have never known a time without. For them it is hard if not impossible to imagine a world without smart phones and constant social media coverage. Talking to eachother is out of fashion. Many large multinational companies have scrapped voicemail services altogether to save money. A medium of communication that is slowly dying out is being replaced by another. A cycle that has gone on for decades and has seen the fax machine and the written letter rise and fall.

My father was an international trainings manager, traveling the globe teaching employees how to improve their training procedures, face to face. He lost his job in large part as a result of the transition to video calls and conferencing. It removed the necesity of growing travel expenses during times of financial difficulty. 

But is this lack of face to face or vocal communication going to far? Are we losing the ability to socialise in person? Can we link this shift in communication media in part to say the increase in dating sites or online shopping? Are we becoming more and more isolated?

Food for thought. 

Or should I say 🍔 for thought....

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