Communication Options (v3.0 beta)
Why do we communicate? And why so damn much?
As you can tell from the previous updates to this long, yet informative and thought-provoking piece (to us at least) – – – that advanced societies have all sorts of communication conundrums to deal with in 2015. And this has been on my mind more often than I’d prefer.
Probably because we somehow have found ourselves to be socially observant more than ever (as opposed to “socially interactive.”) Additionally, we’ve voluntarily pruned the amount of communication (in terms of quantity) we partake in daily – especially in the digital format.
But if you read the pieces below – it begs the question: “why?”
Why do so many people “communicate” through so many venues? Text, chat, videos, one-sentence opinions, catch-phrases and zingers. Other than a chuckle or two, or the obsessive viewing of what amounts to a collection of one-sentence “back and forths” with people you barely even know, what is being accomplished exactly? Progress? Killing time?
Forming an opinion – whether you share it or not, seems totally fake these days.
Because most of it has NOT been based on thorough investigation, study, research or analysis. Just “quick conclusions,” usually based on useless and trivial matters. How much is really formidable these days? How much is based on real experience?
Flick, smile, respond, back to emptiness…
Anyway – As I observe people “flick” through whatever they’re reading. I see some kind of emptiness in their eyes, aura, and overall being. I envision “bits and bytes” entering their eye-sockets (sort of like the green characters in The Matrix), and those bits not really doing much inside their brains. Like a drug of some kind. A sedative that is slowly taking their “real” mind to the morgue.
And as I watch the countless people with very similar reactions, I find a strikingly disturbing trend: They have some kind of “minor” enjoyment for (literally) a second (at best, it usually equates to a half-smile of some kind), then when (and if) they shut the phone off and put it in their bag or pocket, they become almost downtrodden. Like they just disconnected some kind of drug IV tube. Visibly less “happy,” almost bare naked in terms of soulful contentment.
Not sure if any of you can see the same. Maybe I just have that “sixth sense.” Who knows. But I see it repeatedly day after day. And more often week after week.
But here’s a few ordinary questions you might want to ask yourself. (If you’re that kind of person who’s up to an honest challenge:)
- How would your life differ if you erased all “streaming” social media apps on your devices? And were left with just ordinary email, texting, and voluntary web-surfing?
- Has life improved because of your social media interaction? New opportunities? Increased wealth? Prosperity? Love? Contentment? Happiness? If so – why are you still on social media if you’ve reached such fantastic heights? What for? Do you need more? Or are you truly unhappy and addicted to “what’s next?”
- For those that have (honestly) identified that the excess communication might pose a problem – what have you done about it? Self-imposed limits? Complete eradication? Support groups?
- And anyone who’s “escaped,” how did you guide yourself back to humanity?
Our next update to this provocative series of posts will (hope to) shed some light on what it’s truly like to do things the old-fashioned way – which requires time, patience, personality, confidence and honesty. Yeah, what is that? Whoa? Stay tuned!
Forced Communications? Mandatory? Says who?
4/27/2015 Update 1:
Saw the below report on RT News the other day – which briefly covered how some folks out there who were previously NOT on social media “had to be on it” in order to succeed.
They even went on to mention it was practically “mandatory” to have presence on social media (as employers and colleges also check your social media profiles.)
How many think this is a totally retarded concept to accept? Or do you just follow along like obedient slaves? (Also – are you aware they’ve changed the terminology from “social networking” to “social media” so they can use everyone as free photo reporters?)
Just because “it’s there” doesn’t mean you need it
Unless your job IS social media – there is absolutely no need to consider any of these so-called “social” networks mandatory. And as their headline indicates – you now have to SACRIFICE your privacy for the sake of success?
Just that headline – “sacrificing privacy” hints that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy FROM THE SOCIAL NETWORKS THEMSELVES. I mean, in a perfect world, those social networks would be limited to what you decide to “share” (i.e., voluntary disclosure). But just BEING on those networks strips you of your privacy from the get-go! They track you, “decide” what content you see, and sell your data to the highest bidder. They even know what you talk about when you’re not logged in!
Here’s a few things to consider.
- If EVERYONE is on something (i.e., a venue, stage, network) – doesn’t that just DILUTE you and the time you capture the attention of others? Why even play that game when the odds are already stacked against you?
- As time goes on, and more people (in developed countries at least) sign up to whatever these networks are – the MORE valuable those who haven’t sold their soul to the devil become. Just watch and see!
- Think about the evolution of human “communication,” and how, to this day, absolutely nothing can replace face to face interaction. Not even video chatting. Because these new “networks” (Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) have spread like a virus – they’re simultaneously devolving humanity. Funny how contradictory these “advancements” are.
Luckily – we do not have 100% adoption, and there are still quite a few people who can see the writing on the wall. But I’d be a bit concerned for future generations, that’s for sure!
Overload: Too many communication options?
4/2/2015 Original Post:
The world is moving at a hypersonic breakneck pace these days. Technology is evolving faster than people even have the patience (or capability) to understand. It does not matter to most, as long as they have the newest, fastest, “bestest” and so on. But how many people are “looking back” and trying to contemplate what it all means in the grand scheme of things?
I’m talking about communication specifically. And how many options people have to “communicate” today. How much is enough?
How much has changed in just 10 generations
Anyone with an inkling of curiosity can “research” the history of how humans communicated. About a thousand years ago, it was all about spoken word and hand-written communiques.
That’s when the printing press was developed, and remained the main form of “information transfer” for around eight centuries. People actually read, thought, formed new beliefs and acquired knowledge in a much slower, yet stronger way.
Then “high speed – long distance” communications began around 200 years ago, with the telegraph (essentially “ancient email,”) but used very sparingly.
And for just about the past 140 years, communication with the telephone allowed you to “reach out and touch someone” with your voice. Costly at first, but eventually became commonplace. (And don’t forget about physical mail!)
Then for the last 20-25 years, email was (and may very well still be) one of the most widely used ways people communicated messages (along with photos, video, and “hyperlinks” to other more substantial bodies of information).
But forget the slowly evolving history of how humans exchanged info. What about the past 10 years alone? Or the next 10?
“Engage Warp Drive, Scotty!” (Or don’t?)
Great because we can access nearly infinite information at our fingertips. Sad, because it also allows the propagation of “bad” information and propaganda (misinformation or disinformation) to also travel at the speed of light, causing immense confusion amongst the world – muddying the waters of truth beyond comprehension and with no hope of rehabilitation. It’s sort of created a monster, so to say.
But since email, chat rooms and “instant messaging,” a lot has happened – mainly the high-speed, fully capable “pocket computer” called the smart phone.
The Apple iPhone is normally credited with starting the revolution, with countless others following. The Android scene, as well as the touch-screen tablets that every 3 year old melts their brain with in the back seat of mommy’s minivan. These devices have a magnitude more power than outer space missions from just a few decades ago. Imagine that?
And at the same time – even though the devices were the “platform,” technology speeds increased, along with processing power, and much more paved the way for developers to create all new networks and sub-cultures that evolved just as fast as the hardware.
Namely “social media” psychological torture chambers known as Facebook (fakebook to us), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp – (who are almost considered dinosaurs now) – to the “latest” things like Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat and many others that continue to “dumb down” the population and further reduce actual productive use of one’s time.
My point? They’re not beneficial to society the way the “telephone” was. They’re counter-productive to the advancement of the human race (and perhaps a necessary misstep to take?)
Too many choices, too much time spent “communicating”
Back when there were just a handful of ways to “reach out,” things were much simpler. While it could have been quite complicated if you were a social maven, like numerous call waiting interruptions, or constant visitors, etc. It was still a walk in the park compared to today.
How many platforms does an average person use these days anyway? Half a dozen at least? Maybe 10 or more? This is why they now have control panels to manage multiple communications platforms. Is all that communicating really necessary? What are you accomplishing?
Why do you communicate?
Communication takes many forms. From necessary information (where, when, how, why, who) to just socialization, fraternization, etc. Communicating is also a way for narcissists to further whatever agenda they have (i.e., “look at me, please!”). And the countless (digital) opportunities now available make the narcissists spread like weeds.
From what I recall (other than “getting to know” a new person in my life), indirect communications (phone, electronic) were fairly infrequent. The best way to share your life with anyone else was always “in person.”
And that didn’t involve “selfies” or other things getting in the way (like responding to texts or fakebook updates while at dinner).
People used to spend (quality) time with each other – and value those times. Today? That whole interaction has been watered down to the point of irrelevance.
Now that all these “platforms” have emerged and become prevalent – people are flocking to them in droves.
But how many are asking “why are we doing this?”
There are exceptions, but…
Not all communicating is bad. I suppose in today’s world things transpire faster. It’s possible that having all these “outlets” might perhaps open extra doors for some people. Or allow them insight normally unlikely in slower times. Sure, there are exceptions to everything in this universe. But what is the ratio?
My guess is that this new-age way of connecting with others has hurt FAR more people than it’s helped.
And in general – I think the effect it’s having on our population as a whole is what will be the endgame.
Humanity is now “devolving” as far as I can see. Have you observed how inept some young people are at personal communication? Like they’re drugged or incapable. Lacking real emotion. Next to no body language. Zero attention span. I see it. Do you?
Privacy – Snooping – Monitoring
I probably don’t need to remind people about the “privacy” issues at stake. You’ve heard countless stories about “leaks” and other crap. You’ve also read about how most major providers and equipment (made in China) manufacturers have “back doors” and other lax security holes that can (and will) eventually strip you of your privacy.
Yet there are no pitchforks and protests. And whatever ones do materialize are quickly diminished. There is no commonality amongst the populous who are addicted to such forms of
Heck, even private emails between two private citizens are in no way protected by anyone. Imagine some psychotic person getting a hold of your (truly) private life? At least you can say you served a purpose for some sad individuals who had no life of their own. God has a special place for those that served others, in case you didn’t know.
Even talking in person is at risk in 2015
I’d like to believe that every one of my friends or acquaintances are trustworthy. But even today you cannot be sure. Almost everyone has a microphone on their body (via smartphone), and can record your conversation without your consent at any given point in time. Why would they do that?
Well, it wouldn’t be to “help” you. Nine times out of 10 it’s to further one of their own agenda items. Go figure!
Voluntary communication vs. “in your face at all times”
Where you’d get “stuck” talking to someone, or be forced to “hang up” on them and then hear the phone ring incessantly despite your desire to have it stop?
Most “social media” outlets say they have all sorts of controls or “switches” that “enable” the end-user to decide how and when they get their messages. But face it – 99% of the users just allow the messages to stream in unaltered.
Non-stop “bings” and “blips” of sounds which, like Pavlov’s Dog, cause them to immediately reach for their digital leash to “check” what that noise was for. So fucking astounding, which is why over half the people walk from point A to point B with their so-called “communicators” in-hand.
Imagine all the “life” around them they’re missing because they’re so in-tune with their glorious “communication?”
What is the “limit” of human communication anyway?
You ever see those sci-fi fantasy movies where some individual can “hear” everyone’s thoughts and they practically go mad because of it?
Is that the end result of “knowing” everything that is happening in the world?
What is the limit? Are humans evolving every generation to tolerate MORE information (although drastically less meaningful?)
I for one, readily identified my own personal limit. It became obvious once social media became a so-called “dominant” force in how humans interact. I knew right then and there that I would curtail the amount of time I spent to a literal bare minimum, if any at all.
Even when I “check” whatever “timeline” it may be, I become uncomfortable in the sheer overwhelming nature of how much crap is being thrown my way. It can be addicting and often interesting. But how much new information (unwarranted for the most part) can you digest? How many tangents can you go on? How many causes can you feel strongly about? How much of that can you endure before you’re reduced to a completely ineffective entity?
Why websites still rule
Websites I can still visit on my own terms.
I can “subscribe” to ALL the website headlines – and view them at my leisure. I have NO beeps or blops telling me something new just published. I can just read whenever I feel like it.
Even if some of you “turn off” the bings and boops of the fakebook app – you WILL STILL CHECK IT even if there is no sound. I guarantee it. That’s how badly they have you roped in. You’re toast, and don’t even know it!
Go back to old-fashioned websites and GET OFF the social networks ASAP. It’s for your own good.
What next – how do we manage the future? Please help!
For one – you need to understand history in order to capably handle “the future.”
Secondly – you need to surround yourself by like-minded people. Not people caught up in the “future” as they might say. Sure, early adopters get rich in ANY new trend (cars, technology, etc.), but odds are that you will NEVER be the “early adopter.” Someone is always WAY ahead of you.
Next is to take back control of your time and personal data. Like several people I know – we have practically NO technology in our lives anymore. The results have been downright ASTOUNDING. Enriching. Beautiful. Beyond words. And 99.9% of our joyous experiences will NEVER be shared online. Anywhere. Ever. They are ours – and will forever be. Only ours. The mental freedom is refreshing and empowering. I double-dare you to try it. You’ll never go back.
Furthermore – next time you’re in an “online session” of some kind (chatting on fakebook, twitter, Instagram, etc.), do it while looking in a giant mirror. Look at yourself each time you’re alone in that bathroom “having a good time” with whatever meager contact you’re engaged with. Look in the mirror again. Look at your eyes. Do you know yourself? Who are you talking with and why? What thrill does it give you?
Then walk out of the bathroom and try and figure it out.
Last but not least
For anyone that has “seen the light” like we have, we encourage you to give us a shout (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can talk about some future stuff you might be interested in.
And those that haven’t – but you still made it to the end of a 2000 word article – God Bless you. Just remember that self-contemplation and quiet time is necessary for the survival of the human race. We were not made for 24 hour a day information onslaughts. Otherwise, God wouldn’t have invented sleep. Go form a real old-fashioned bond with someone – without the use of modern tools. See if you’re capable of such an astounding feat. Maybe then you can take the next step?
Good luck everyone! Hopefully you can wake up one of these days?