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Monday, January 12, 2009

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

Dear Ivor

I have come to the conclusion that in this age of almost limitless instant messaging methods our ability to communicate is diminishing.

It started when I was investigating the facility to “Twitter” which is a mini blog site where users can restrict their comments to a circle of “friends” or go public with all the trivia, or otherwise, of their daily lives. The fact that “Mary” is having a coffee with “Fred” may be of interest to the participants, but is it worthy of being an interruption in anyone else’s day?

Young people seem to juggle an endless stream of texts whilst attempting to simultaneously hold a conversation without the aid of binary. Tackle homework tasks whilst interacting with online communities in a constant commentary on their lives. Litter Facebook pages with personal thoughts and accounts, along with photos of social events and gatherings in an attempt to gain some kind of celebrity status amongst their peer group.

The question is, is this effective communication? Does it increase our understanding? Have we got better communication skills now with all these additional tools, or in reducing the need for face to face meetings or voice to voice conversations are we becoming less able to deal with the more challenging aspects of real relationships and more adept at avoiding intimacy?

At this point I must admit on more than one occasion I have succumbed to texting or emailing a friend rather than phoning when I have to let them down in some way, and it is without doubt a far more detached method of delivery than admitting person to person a change of mind or a cock up.

However this is of insignificance in the grand scale of things, unless of course it is a symptom of a greater underlining malaise in society of diminishing personal interaction which could result in less empathy for our real communities.

Just a thought!

Poll x