Imagine if each message in your inbox was an actual letter. Imagine, opening each letter and reading the pages every morning, during the course of the day – filing away some, sending on others.
How many of us get hundreds of e-mails a day? Can you imagine sorting through some one-hundred odd letters every day and night? No wonder we get bogged down.
The other evening I found myself perusing various feeds in Google reader. I also had two email programs open (work and personal). I was running iChat, Yahoo IM, G-mail chat, and Tweetie. Oh, and I was texting from my iPhone.
This common situation is infinite, part of a lifestyle that defines the ultimate interactive experience – the one we speculated about years ago while learning Microsoft Front Page and building interactive CD-ROM’s.
The baseline 1’s and 0’s of a 2-dimensional social destiny in the making.
Here within the Digital Age, the way we read is changing. We absorb information from various mediums creating a non-linear path of focus. Perhaps due to the multitude of interactive media available to us, we’re brief in how we consume content. We sample and browse, allowing the inevitable multi-tasking to occur.
It can be said that cumulatively, we’re actually reading more than ever.
So I’m wondering – does this new process, this newly adapted way of working through multitasking – affect the quality of our interpersonal communications? And what are the long-term effects of this?
Do we communicate in shorter amounts – but with more folks, in higher frequencies?
The interactive experience is rich. We have the real-time aspect of Twitter, the private element of chat. The social aspect of Facebook. Time delayed emails, character counts, garbled texts sent on-the-go.
It’s easier to reach folks more than ever. But is it confusing? Is it too much? Or is being networked 24/7 merely a lesson in brevity?
On a business level, this may not be a bad thing. We can cut to the chase.
But what about on a personal level? Where in time and space does all of this communication add up?
I wonder if it makes our relationships fluid and transparent – like with the prevalence of social networking we have the ability to see everyone’s business. Or, if it creates more obstacles through illusions of what we choose to share.
And, how can we get to know someone if we never slow down?
Maybe we need to slow down in general and become more present when we multi-task. We can take the time to stop and chat with someone in person. We can stop needle dropping and enjoy an entire song or album. We can put 5 more minutes into that email.
Maybe we need to appreciate…Life. Or we may wake up one day with nothing but a bunch of intangible 1’s and 0’s.
Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social – http://nyti.ms/c1P81A