Since the dawn of mobile phones, SMS (short messaging service) has been with us and it may be going away any time soon. Why would I bring up about SMS? It has evolved so much that it has totally manipulated the way we communicate with each other.
SMS has evolved into MMS and eventually beyond when smartphones emerged on the surface of the earth. Facebook, with more than a hundred million downloads and WhatsApp, with more than fifty million downloads are the biggest influencers. Peoples’ life are now revolving around their smartphones to communicate rather than talking face to face.
Today, we can all see people and even ourselves staring at our smartphones and laptops at cafés or restaurants with a table full of friends or family members and it can be so quiet. Why is that? Most of us would rather immerse ourselves in the world of Facebook through our devices than embracing what is in front of us.
I have seen many people who would rather message the person sitting next to them rather than talking. It’s just sad to see how technology changed the way we communicate.
As how Sherry Turkle meant it, SMS and whatever form it has taken now are only meant to be a short messaging system, and was never meant to replace the way we communicate. We’re not forever alone, but we’re together yet alone.
A friend of mine said to me that people previously met their friends by going to their homes, but people today ‘meet’ their friends by reaching for their smartphones. Yes, we can see that and we can even see why too. Don’t you think that reaching them through smartphones for a chat is much easier and simpler than going out to find them physically?
People fail to realize that virtual communication cannot emulate intimacy, personal connection and the tangibility between each other.
You might think that this situation is introverted in nature; the silent, shy and lonely lifestyle. The first thing I learned from reading Susan Cain’s The Power Of Introverts is that introverts only speak whenever necessary and is never shy, but still sociable, though prefers to be in a quieter environment. What technology did is – it made us shy; unable to speak in whatever situations and always wanting to hide one’s face.
So take this as a PSA and please, stop using your gadgets to replace the way you communicate.
Let me tell you one thing that will be your single greatest motivation – communicating face to face has no lag or internet disconnection issues.