As we ping, we tweet, we post, we publish and share our top tips, articles, experiences and news, we get faster and faster at it. We hope for immediate likes, comments or re-tweets. We keep an eye on the number of followers, just to see how many more out there we can entice. Even the more sensible among us feel a lift of validation when a new follower, like or comment graces our screens. It’s fast, it’s fun, it’s also superficial. We become expert digital communicators, generating mountains of interesting (and less interesting, sometimes boring) content, to shove out there, as fast as we can. Everyone’s doing it, so we have to too.
Meanwhile for the substance and meaningful aspects of our work lives, or indeed our personal and social lives, we are getting slower and slower. The lengths we go to to schedule or secure a face to face meeting, or phone call to discuss matters outside the manic merry-go-round of daily busy-ness (much of it consumed by digital urgency) have amplified. The time it takes to get feedback on a proposal or sign off on a new project has doubled, tripled to what it was before digital superficiality became our task master.
The pinging, the tweeting, the posting, the sharing of here-today-gone-tomorrow information gets faster and faster, the human response to substantial, meaningful meetings or projects gets slower, and slower. As if a no-time-for-this deniability has set in about what really matters. People making the time to meet with people, in response to human-based work. People creating the headspace to consider the benefits of human-based work and communication. People being connected to people through human-based communication.
We used to talk about quality time (with our families, colleagues, friends)… as something we had to carve out amidst already busy lives. Digital communication – the faster the better – seems to have replaced any quality time we might still have to spare. Relegating important, meaningful human-based responses to the realm, of ‘not-now-maybe-later’. Or maybe never. And then what?
© Amanda Yensa Manor 2015