Technology is everywhere; it has changed every aspect of our lives, the way we buy our books, listen to our favourite music, book our holidays, even the way we stay in touch with family and friends; it rules everything and most importantly how and why we communicate. Technology has revolutionised our daily routines but if there is one thing that has really evolved beyond recognition that would be the way we work. We cannot function without computers and thanks to our smartphones we are ‘open for business’ 24/7. Is this an ideal situation? Maybe not, maybe we have become more stressed, more dependent on our devices in order to perform our roles in the business environment…
But if there is one aspect I would like to highlight about technology that would be the way it has helped people to stay in touch with each other, suddenly people can hold multiple conversations at the same time and basically anybody in an organization can communicate with the external world. Is this a good thing for the business environment? I believe it makes communication more dynamic but also more unpredictable. It has also stressed the importance of monitoring what´s been said about our company and who is talking about our company. This new set of ‘influencers’ can modify the way the world perceives our company, so a new task within communications departments becomes crucial: managing all these interactions and be able to react to them, once again, in no time.
Social media is changing at a fast pace and it´s creating new trends in the marketplace. Let´s for instance think about Facebook, this is not a page to chat and share anymore, it has become a proper communications model, one that has 1 billion active users monthly as of October 2012, 81% of these users are outside the US and Canada. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest after China; more than 300m photos are uploaded every day and more than 488m users access Facebook using mobile devices.
Thus the rapid revolution in technology affected our lifestyle drastically and led us to believe that our lives have changed for the better. Today society has time to do everything except think. The life people live now with wireless communication is undoubtedly fast paced compared to the life the population had lived before wireless communication. Because of wireless communication people are expected to work at a faster pace, especially since they have more information at their fingertips. Back in the day people had to really search for materials and research data now people will throw a tantrum if a web page does not load within 30 seconds. Worries were not as ridiculous as forgetting to updating a status every hour.
families used to gather together every night for dinner – without a TV, and discuss each other’s days.
It is quite common in today’s society for a family to eat dinner completely separate from each other or, at least, have a television on while eating dinner – almost purposely avoiding face-to-face communications.
we have so many different distractions in modern society that we rarely find time to take a breath and leave all the devices alone for a few minutes.
Without actually talking to one another face-to-face, we already know a great deal about each other’s day and lives. Different forms of communication are so widely available and accessible today, that we rarely go more than 5 or 6 hours without some form of communication with those who are close to us. Husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends no longer go entire days without speaking to each other on the phone, emailing each other, facebooking each other, texting each other or all of the above.
Whether better or worse, because we’re already very aware of each others’ activities, we no longer need a formal sit down at the end of the day to fill each other in on what has happened.
although we may have lost some direct face-to-face communication in today’s fast paced, modern society, we have increased the overall amount of daily communications and the overall number of communication options as compared to society in the past.
The long-term societal effects of modern communication are still to be seen. It is true that we do not communicate as directly as in the past. It is also true however, that we communicate more regularly, at a quicker pace and through many more mediums than before.