Walking hand-in-hand with our ever-improving technology comes the evolution of our means of communications, since no matter the circumstances we still remain social creatures and thus enjoy communicating with others. Never has it been any easier that it is today. All one needs to do is to click a few buttons, press a few keys, and pouf! your message has be send halfway around the world in an instant. We don’t have to go back all that much in history to find people who would probably burn us for witchcraft if we ever told them we’re able to do that. Yet it is so common nowadays that this acts looks incredibly banal.
Though the so-called “progress” in our communication devices brings with it some unforeseen complications, i.e. changes in our social interactions. Complicated might not be the proper adjective in this case, since the situation simply becomes more intricate. Especially when it comes to the level of intimacy which are associated with the different means of communications. This means that not only does content and structure matter when exchanging with another person, but even the medium plays a key-role to convey the proper message.
All it takes is a quick look at some of the most popular tools we use to illustrate the point made above. Facebook, for example, shows two different levels of intimacy by already offering us two ways to send a message to another person. One of them is sending them a private message, which is most likely the one used the widest, and which is only as intimate as being Facebook friends is, namely, not all that much since you can send one to almost anyone on that social media. Though it is still more intimate than an email, since at least Facebook has pictures and such included in the conversation. Writing on someone’s wall on the other hand, makes said communication public (as far as friend lists go), but more than that it is a symbolism for the public nature of the relationship between the two individuals. Writing when/where you’ll meet someone in a message is usual, but doing so on their walls makes the hangout virtually public, and thus open to more social consequences.
After the internet comes the cell phone, which is definitely more intimate because the process to getting the contact information is already more elaborate, namely asking them directly instead of simply finding their full name. Another reason why phones are more familiar is that they are usually carried around at all times, thus leading the communique being transmitted/received right away. And within phones, texts are more intimate than calls, since calling someone is as close as it gets to actually talking to them, unless Skype is involved. After looking at all this, it would seem that the more complicated it is to open the channel of communication, the more familiar the message, and the easier it is to reach a certain person, the more intimate that medium will be. Who knows where technology will lead us in the future, and what kind of social communications it will bring about?? Can’t wait for holograms!!
Until next time,