There seems to be a concern that the proliferation of technology has reduced our level of communication; that we are somehow communicating with each other less now than we have in the past.
While technology has certainly had a massive impact on our lives, I am certain that we are not communicating less, just differently. Yes we may shun face to face communication, but a lot of the time face to face is unnecessary. There are some obvious instances where it is essential, such as when we need to see and feel a reaction to our words, but for the most part we are no longer concerned about that.
Just as the human race has evolved over millions of years, the way we communicate with each other has evolved as well. We used to grunt and use facial expressions and body language. Then we developed language. Then we developed writing. Then came the internet. The next evolution may be consciousness to consciousness where we can convey both word and emotion.
Each stage in the evolution of communication has not only allowed us to communicate more effectively, but with more people at the same time. When we developed the written word, we found we could communicate with someone hundreds of kilometers away. Not only that, but we found we could communicate and across centuries of time.
Just like today, there have been fearmongers at each stage in the journey. I don't have the patience to go into how fear has affected our adoption of various technologies throughout the years, but here's an excellent article by Vaughan Bell on Slate.com on the subject.
Now the internet is here and we are not only recording that which we think might be important to humanity, but everything that is important to us as individuals. The next evolution will see us record everything. Absolutely everything. All that makes us who we are as a species and more. Our movements. Our actions. Our thoughts and even our feelings.
Just because we are looking at our screen more and each other less, doesn't mean we are communicating less. We are able to communicate with more and more people, people we have never even met, so we have adapted, evolved. We are sharing stories that interest us. We are reacting to someone else's story. We are holding conversations in bite sized chunks.
Adoption of technology isn't destroying our ability to communicate, just changing it. Enhancing it even.
Do you love technology and are still able to have a conversation with someone? Do you spend less time talking to your family and friends, or do you just have different things to talk about?