Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Is Social Media Communication Human?

Do we really read anything anymore?  I mean, do we really read what is before our eyes.  After the advent of text messages, twitter, and the "likes" on Facebook, do we really communicate or read or even care about communication?

Communication is an art form.  It is part of the human experience.  It is about sharing a bond between one human and another.  Yes, even animals of all sorts do this.  Even plants know how to communicate.

Communication occurs on so many different levels from the words we use to the sounds and inflections of our voices.  The body language which emphasizes or supports our words and sometimes even shows the inaccuracy of our words.  The energy we bring to a conversation and the knowing that is involved help us to communicate in ways we don't even consider.


Some days it is difficult to get your point across.  Some days it is hard enough to get the other person engaged and then if you do, to have them understand what it is that you have said.  I write documentation for installations and believe me, sometimes just getting someone to read it, is an accomplishment in itself.  Getting the individual to understand and do what you need them to do is an entirely different ordeal.

In these days of social media, our communication is poor at best.  We communicate with some symbols, pictures, half spelled out text and call it good.  Its not going away, so we had best figure it out, but I fear we're losing a deep part of our human experience.  We're missing the fullness of communication that brings us together in deeper connections.

Even on places like Facebook, its often about sharing spam related content at times and hoping the other person likes that.  On Twitter, its about spamming the news feeds with almost worthless tweets that no one would ever do to another person in real time.

Imagine if we were talking one on one with another person.  Would we tweet them or show them a picture constantly and ask them to comment or like it?  This sounds absurd doesn't it.  Yet, this is what we are doing on social media all day long.

Is this form of communication human?  I'm not sure I can answer that and I'm sure everyone would have many different answers.  Yet, if you look at the above example I just raised, it shows evidence that we're losing our touch with communication.

If you observe people in restaurants and stores and public places, are they talking with one another in deep conversations or are they focused and fixated on a smart phone?  Have they given up that one on one personal connection to be tied to an electronic device?

We are of course entering a new era of communication, but I'm afraid we are trading in the human connection for a device that automates this for us.   While it is real, it really isn't a real form of communication.  If we are not careful, we will take one more step into becoming less than human.

At one time email was slowly emerging and people would spam each other all day long, but then Facebook and Twitter came along and made this much easier.  I wonder at times if we really value those people we call friends, or if the need to spam is more important?  Do we even understand that we're spamming our friends?

Who knows what the next era of communications will bring to the human race.  Maybe with all the noise of modern day communication we will forget what the human experience is.  Maybe with all the progress we will lose site of what really matters.  Who knows?

It is a choice and decision we all have to make.  What role will being human play in your life?  What role will being a slave to social media become for you?   These aren't easy questions, but if we don't ask them, they will have an answer at some point in the future, whether we agree or not.




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Blog Post And Images (c) 10/08/14 by Don Shetterly

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