In Touch

I think it's safe to say that we've reached the apex of computer-based communications. The netbook is everywhere, reasonable countries and cities (cough, cough) are providing free wi-fi, social networking sites have never been in greater demand, even the blogosphere isn't as dead as we thought it was....

And now this revolution is moving over to phones. Which is cool, because now all this stuff is mobile. You don't just have to be talking to your friends about that movie you just watched, you can also be looking up the stats on the actors, watching the original clips that inspired the movie while...I don't know, all sorts of things. (I mean, I just got the most limited text messaging plan available. Seriously, not into Web 3.0.)

Well, it's cool because you're always connected, but there's gotta be a tradeoff somewhere.

I think this comes in the form of the personal connection.

Instead of talking to your friends, you can now just tell them to read a blog! (Maybe I have done this. Maybe.) I mean, sure, there are certain points you don't want to repeat again and again, but what happened to telling people what they would actually want to hear? And what about secrets...I mean, people post a ton of dumb shit on Facebook. You'd think reading fmylife would teach them to, well, keep private stuff private...but no. It's easier to post something on Facebook and lock it down than it is to track down your friends at acceptable, non-awkward times of day.

Which is ridiculous.

I'm not just saying this because I'm a) pointlessly old-fashioned (ha, ha) and b) horribly lazy (well, maybe a little...). A lot of communication still comes from visual cues: eyes, facial tics, positioning. If you don't learn how to read people, then how are you going to manage the real world? I can just imagine the president in 200 years: completely monotone, no gestures, but totally text-convertable. "Oh, oops. That missile crisis happened because I did not realise you were being sarcastic. I grew up on the Internet. Sarcasm DOES NOT WORK there."


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