Because of the choices of available media, personal, one-on-one conversations are becoming increasing hard to have. There’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of other media channels to “stay connected” and to converse. On Facebook, you either voice your thoughts to “friends” (and otherwise) or you comment so the unseen group can see. With Twitter and other tools, your voice can broadcast around the world – and at the same time you can hear the reflections of everybody at your desktop. Skype offers you head and shoulders and a distracting set of lips that are seconds behind the audio.
What is increasingly missing in all of our daily exchanges is the personal intimacy of a face-to-face conversation. So, when you want to get personal and talk directly to a single person, what is most effective – appropriate – satisfying means for both of you to converse? A Twitter direct message? A Facebook private message? A BBM? A Skype call? An e-mail? A telephone call?
Frank Bruni confronted this dilemma and in a rather humourous NY Times op-ed entitled “Sorry, Wrong In-Box”:
Communication can become a multistep, multiplatform process. My friend J. and I like to talk on the phone, but only after she has sent me a gmail to propose a gchat, during which we determine if a call is actually warranted and whether I should use her home, mobile, main office or satellite office number. By the time voice meets voice, we’re spent. There’s a lot of heavy breathing; none of it the fun kind.
So, do we Tweet, FB post, BBM?? In a recent G&M post by Dakshana Bascamurty, we find our preferred choices of communications are fast changing. Picking up the phone and calling someone is no longer something we want to do – and receiving a phone call from anyone has become for many a bothersome interruption in their day.
J.D. Power and Associates’ wireless use and habits study found wireless customers are using their phones less for talk time and more for texting – a consistent trend over the last number of years. The average customer sent and received an average of 500 text messages a month (this is averaged out with all users – among teens and young adults, the average is much higher). [ Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/do-you-tweet-text-bbm-or—gasp—call/article2150035/ ]
Facebook and texting – and then there’s Twitter! As By George Journal posted yesterday, Americans and Canadians are enraptured in Twitter-mania. There’s 100 million users and 55% log on every day via mobile. On average, there are 1 billion tweets sent daily (an 82% surge in Tweets since January 2011).
For the many who would still rather converse via phone calls, emails, letters and live, face-to-face conversation, social media has become disarming. Where’s the true conversation in all the background typing noise to be heard from the exchanges on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Where’s the personal connection in one’s conversations?
The short (inadequately brief) answer to this query is that our personal communications have changed – and will continue to do so. Today, there are many who exchange personal matters directly with other individuals on a daily basis and have no thought regarding the medium; there are many who no longer expect an intimacy in many of their daily conversations; and there are those who use social media to chat and banter and surf – and then connect on a personal level when they turn off the computer to interact with their family and neighbourhood.
So, what’s appropriate, effective for personal connections and intimate conversations depends on how comfortable you are with the various social media channels and our on-line, global voicebox.