I recently read this article in the NY Times about how one tech writer is making a conscious effort to unplug from technology and focus on being bored (with the hope of being more creative). See more about the initiative Bored and Brilliant here.
In this article there is one quote that really stood out to me.
My husband and I have a TV date. It’s so pathetic, we text each other when we’re ready. I get along with him so well on text. There’s no tone of voice.
I think this is a sentiment many of us can (sadly) relate to, and something that Horst and Miller get at in Chapter 6. Personal communication has entirely changed during our generation, and is full of new dimensions of communication. Here are some of the main changes I have seen.
- Fear of spoken communication: My sister (like many of our generation) hates talking on the phone. She is a generally out-going person, but there is something intimidating about talking to someone you can’t see when speaking. Although not normally an issue, it can get frustrating when she doesn’t answer the home phone if we call from a different number, for fear of picking up and a stranger being on the other side. I do not blame my sister for this fear, for talking on the phone was something I was not comfortable with until this summer when I worked at the Davidson Fund call center. Our generation has learned to speak to people textually but at the expense of our ability to actually speak to people.
- Constant Communication: Being in a relationship, it is hard to imagine not talking to that person, for hours or days at a time. In this age, there is an expectation of immediate response and constant contact. With read-reciepts and notifications of people opening Snapchats, it is easy to know if you are being ignored, or if the person has actually not seen it. Gone are the days where a nightly or weekly phone call was all that was expected to keep up with best friends or significant others. To me though, this constant communication has lead to a decrease in the quality of communication. Updating people has become a mundane habit not a thoughtful expression of staying in touch.
- Multiple Lines of Communication: I know there are times where I have found myself in three different conversations with people: One on Snapchat, one via iMessage, and one in GroupMe. This is a phenomena only possible via technology and the digital age. The ability to communicate via multiple avenues simultaneously has changed the way we communicate with our friends and loved ones.