Monday, April 25, 2005

Let's communicate

The way we communicate has changed so much in such a very short time. Here I am blogging, tapping out my thoughts for the whole world (all two of you) to see, while simultaneously trying to communicate with my sibling via picture message. Ninety per cent of my communication at work takes place via email.

Fifteen years ago I'd never heard of the internet and my Dad was the envy of many with a mobile phone the size of several bricks. Try sticking that in your handbag. Or anywhere else for that matter.

Five years ago blogging was the domain of technogeeks, internet chatting was decidedly esoteric and there were more people in Britain than mobile phones.

The question is, is all this communication doing us any good? We seem to communicate more these days, but are we communicating better? Are we losing quality for the sake of quantity?

To be honest, I can't tell you. The rapid rise of modern communication technologies has happened parallel to my rise from child to teenager to student to fully fledged working librarian, all stages of life that probably would have been marked by different levels and modes of communication whatever the technology available. There's no way of knowing what my social interaction would be like now without my mobile phone and internet connection, because when I didn't have those things I was a different person with different desires and needs.

I know that I wouldn't be sitting here in my magnolia room writing words that millions (cough, cough) of people all around the world will be able to see within seconds of me writing them if it wasn't for the rapid changes that have taken place in the way we speak to each other. But if the technology wasn't there, would I want to? I have become who I am alongside this technology, and maybe the technology is shaping us as much as we are shaping it.


No comments: