8:03-8:06pm Martha stops folding her laundry, and walks over to the edge of her bed where her phone is patiently charging.
She reads the new messages.
She types a message, “no that doesn’t sound right” erases and retypes.
She presses send,and then goes back to folding her laundry.
8:07pm 1 new Facebook Message.
And so the process continues. Martha stopping to read her text messages and then returning to fold her laundry. Finally at 9:30 she finishes and puts away the freshly cleaned clothes.
See the problem? Something that should have taken maybe 20-30 minutes to do, stretches out an extra half an hour. With Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, text messaging, and email capabilities all within one device attached to you as if it were an extension of your being is making you a slave! We have become slaves to technology. A slave to your friends and to your work. When are you at work and when are you at home? When are you with your friends and when are you with family? With new applications making communication increasingly instant, answering that question becomes difficult. You’re almost always “with” your friends or “at” work. Boss has a question – he emails you. Friend has a story – she texts you.
Technology and instant communication is a great progressive innovation that undoubtedly increases efficiency (but with diminishing marginal returns as noted in Martha’s example), however it weirdly compels us to respond to everything right away! When we respond right away we take away the suspense and anticipation factor from communication. We take away creativity and judgement. We take away value from our words. If we apply the simple economics concept of supply and demand to our words, the more words we say (write, type, etc) the less value they hold, the more available we are to others the less exclusive we make our selves.
Emergency situations aside, why respond immediately? Taking some time to craft a thoughtful response will not only prevent you from saying something you regret but will also give your conversation more substance and depth. I would prefer that over a conversation filled with “lol” “k” “haha” and emoticons. Create some sort of mystery about yourself, and let people guess what you’re up to? If they really need you, they will call!