A little discourse about Communication and Social Networking
Call me old fashioned, but I prefer one telephone call by a ‘real’ friend over 50 @tweets or FB messages from a myriad of followers and friends or rather acquaintances.
Communication via email, sms and/or social networking media helps staying connected, but doesn’t it also disconnect from real thought and feelings and humanity itself? Subtleties and true emotions remain hidden: the loss of the finer details of body language, facial expression and nuances of voice inevitably lead to a loss of depth in communication: irony, humour, compassion, expressions of love and friendship all lose their essence and are easily misunderstood leading to potential confusion, misunderstandings and disappointment.
I don’t want this to be a rant, but social networking becomes incredibly time consuming and addictive too. “Fomo” as it was apparently named last year: fear of missing out. So many people are permanently attached through their indispensable genius mobile phones and can’t resist the regular quick scroll down liking something or other and replying instantly while briefly losing focus on the person they are with in real time. My fear is that thinking in depth and engaging meaningfully with the world and each other are becoming a thing of the past as is the ability to actively receive and process the actual message communicated. News-feeds present news, songs, art and sometimes before anyone has had a chance – or indeed the time – to engage they have multiple ‘likes’ flashing up as exemplified in this small anecdote of cyberlive: a new 4 minute musical track has 35 likes within seconds of being posted. What is that about?
While social media allow for great networking and creative ways of connecting with a greater variety of people for professional purposes, making many more pathways more accessible for a wider range of people than ever before they are also very much dismantling useful boundaries of human behaviour and stealing time!
My personal solution is to try and remain very disciplined about how much time at anyone point I spend on social networking sites and not get carried away by twitter invites for drinks by bands :-) or put too much personal info out there. My main means of communication for personal matters and friendship will remain direct contact, phone calls and technology to aid arrangements as well as staying connected with those friends further afield through private messages!
Today’s choice of song comes from the brilliant Bridie Jackson and the Arbor and is about ‘talking again…’
This song is from the beauitfully crafted new album ‘Bitter Lullabies’. Classifying it as a folk album wouldn’t do its varied sounds justice. The sound together with the fantastic lyrics make it a powerful album leaving you listening entranced.
Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow.
Rowan D. Williams
But communication is two-sided – vital and profound communication makes demands also on those who are to receive it… demands in the sense of concentration, of genuine effort to receive what is being communicated.
See also Jeni Russell’s article: A Twitter addict, I had to detox from modern technology
and a TED talk blog on our modern, connected lives - if you have the concentration and focus left to read two whole articles ;-)