There is a recurring type of question on forums, which are one of the information sources when working for a communications/productivity app. In various ways, people ask and discuss about the effect modern communications have on humanity, on society, on the people’s ability to meaningfully interact. They also ask for advice on improving their interpersonal skills and their communication.
Now, although the question is inoffensive, the answers to it might be stingy for some tech enthusiasts. We won’t go there. Suffice to say, as we did in previous posts, that when you are in control of your communication channel and devices, instead of them controlling you and your time – you should be OK.
Is silence a thing of the past? How about peace of mind?
When was the last time you experienced silence at home? As in you (or you and your friends/family members) communicating in a noise-free environment. No background music, TV, desktop, laptop, no phones ringing, nobody shouting from a screen, while being on the other side of the globe… That kind of thing.
This tech noise is so viral that it became addictive – and we take it for granted. A piece of music here, a video there, someone sharing this and that through various channels… We seem to be continually exposed to this stream of content. We communicate in a totally different way than we used to. We are developing new abilities or skills. But are we losing the old ones?
As mentioned above, when were you last aware of a moment of silence? Did you enjoy it or did it feel weird, or even unsettling? Consider how meditation is described – and note that the continuous stream of data that we live in, if not controlled, is the opposite environment to the one needed for meditation.
Caught between taking advantage of great technology and protecting our private lives
While communication companies urge users to ask themselves whether they are “taking advantage of this greater level of choice”, some develop apps that include ways of protecting our private lives. More recent studies acknowledge certain uncertain effects of the increased technology usage over the human brain. Even our development may be influenced, depending on when (at what age) the unlimited tech access managed to convince us to go over a certain limit.
You may find out just how huge a part of the users’ life modern communicative platforms became, for example, from this study. The most time-consuming platforms rank in accordance with the users’ geolocation, so if you are from another part of the world they won’t fit. But each region has its own favorites, when it comes to communication channels, which are all ruled by global hubs such as Facebook, WhattsApp or Skype.
Just to be clear, by protecting our private lives, we don’t mean (this time) the data protection side. No, it’s simply about leaving room for personal, face-to-face communication. Putting a screen between and the others does not count – regardless of whether we communicate through it or we merely stare at it while addressing real people by our side.
We’ll close with a suggestion that could provide more insight on this week’s topic – this article.