How We’ve Silently Agreed to Abide By ‘Social’ Communication That’s Tearing Us Apart
It never ceases to amaze me that the way almost all of us communicate by now — chiefly through social media apps — is often so insulting to the inherent sensitivities of human nature. Yet we’ve agreed to abide without much resistance or complaint, with this way of communicating.
On the one hand the entire purpose of social media has from the start been to offer people a sense of empowerment that they, as one of several billion souls on this planet, have a unique voice. Yet on the other, when it comes to the ways that social media insidiously indoctrinates us to communicate in our said individual voice, as a mass of individuals we have done next to nothing to resist and reverse the formats that are presented to us. Formats that are always presented to us as great new ideas designed by whizz kids working in hip, happy spaces for our benefit, not as strategic agendas for stringing us along.
Essentially, I am arguing the case that social civility is consistently being denigrated, if not silently disparaged, in the name of “being too busy to do otherwise”. From the time when email became a standard part of our lives, making handwritten letter-writing nearly if not entirely obsolete, there was an initially subtle yet eventually immovable, shift.
Email was an immediate, effective and pragmatic way to communicate non-intrusively. You send the email, and when the other person receives it, they answer. Initially people were more eager to keep up good, old-fashioned manners and answer soon after receiving the message, but — like with all advents in technology-almost overnight, it somehow became acceptable to answer days later, if at all. “Oh, sorry, I was so busy I didn’t have the chance to even check my mail” were the kind of excuses people gave then. Then we were enabled to see if the other had actually received the email, and upon not receiving a reply, our intangible anger intensified. “Sorry, I haven’t had the chance to answer your mail” was the sort of excuse that followed. But regardless of any level of politeness expressed via the apology, that excuse was simply not…