Is modern communication becoming more passive?
I believe that, yes, there is a certain undercurrent of passivity in the way social networking sites are set up. We post our “status” or a “tweet” that places our words into the world wide aether of the internet for our friends to find – and they don’t even have to reply, they can just hit “like” and communication has occurred. This isn’t something I abhor for any reason, however, don’t get me wrong. There are also plenty of means to personally message or email in direct ways, but I know for a fact when I have certain news to share my first reaction is to post it as my “status” on Facebook. It’s easy, and I’m lazy.
So what’s my point? Am I trying to stand up for the more traditional ways of direct communication?
To a point, yes. I feel that there has to be a balance as we move forward in ease of communication, as with any technology. A connection I made in my original argument was about e-books versus bound paper books. I agree that e-books are useful, convenient and just generally nifty, but wouldn’t it be sad to lose bound books altogether? I love the physical process of reading, like literally devouring page after page as I turn them with print-stained fingertips. Going into a library to pick up volumes and scan the back synopsis, feeling the weight of it in my hand.
It’s a nostalgia thing. The same reason I start to grin when someone says they’re sending me a card or writing me a letter. And it’s true that I don’t feel that I could function in modern society without the technological conveniences, when they’re so good at making my life easier and faster. But, equally, it’s not all just about functioning. I don’t think I could be happy without occasionally slowing down and taking the time to dial a phone number, or curl up with a well-loved novel.
Even better would be to have a face-to-face conversation but I live in The Middle of Nowhere, Fife and none of you are within conversational distance. Fie!