With the rise of innovation as a result of technologies, communication has taken another dimension. Technology has provided us with a plethora of information with regards to how communication is to be done. One no longer has to see someone face to face to interact, you can send instant messages and make video calls with people on the other side of the world in real time.
Technological innovations have impacted the quality of communication adversely. From mails to emails and instant messaging, physical meetings to virtual meetings and live sessions, video calls to virtual reality etcetera. This has lightened the weight on communication and given speed to information dissemination.
The essence of communication is to aid the exchange of information and knowledge and develop relationships with others. It is the way we gain our sense of self from others who communicate how they see us.
Growing up as a millennial, the common method of communication was analogue: face to face, by telephone, or by mail. That however is not the same for a Gen Z who grew up with social media, visual and messaging apps.
Technology has made communication fast and easy. Now, we can get and share information rapidly with more avenues for self-expression.
While technology has made communication seamless, it has also created a gap in one on one communication as people sitting close to each other would rather text than talk to each other.
The essence of one on one communication is to inform, express feelings, visualize, impact, and meet social expectations. However, the quality of one on one communication is degrading, as people now get distracted by phone notifications and chats even at family gatherings and social meetings.
Information that used to be perceived as a secret is now shared online, giving strangers access to one’s life without necessarily having a personal relationship with them.
Dialogue has turned to monologue as we can send or record our messages without necessarily getting the other person’s input. Communication is now more about sharing than listening, commenting and liking than participating in real discussions.
There is a need to balance digital communication with interpersonal so we don’t lose the essence of communication ultimately.
Technology is a tool just like a scalpel or a gun; it can either save or take away lives. The same applies to technologies, how and when we use them makes the difference.