Thanks to your trusty smartphone we have seen the rapid disintegration of how we communicate. Many experts have spent time seeking to understand what new developments in technology are doing to the way humans interact with each other. We tend to see two facets being addressed, firstly, our primal need for social engagement and secondly, our evolving individualism.
The degree to which new technology influences our communication can be seen in behavioral research that seems to point to a diminishing attention span. The success of apps line Vine and Snapchat, are rewriting what is acceptable and what is the "new norm". In his new book Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari the famed comedian talks about how our tolerance for time has completely changed.
"Back in my day, if I didn't hear back in a few hours it was okay, once I send a text message. Now if I don't get a response immediately or within a few minutes I begin to worry."
Technology has always been around to serve us. It is doing that now. It is connecting us like never before and making communication so much more efficient, far-reaching and fast. From that perspective there is only positives to consider, however, like the sign in the cafe, we still need to consider the value of face to face interactions. A 6 second vine can only tell you so much, and the power of interacting with someone on that personal level is so much more sustaining. All technology when it comes to communication, eventually leads us to a one to one interaction. Will you be able to put down the phone and look across the table and maximize that moment, or will you simply retreat into safer territory and anonymously broadcast your views via the interweb?