If the 19th century was defined by the industrial revolution, then it can only be said that the technological revolution certainly helped to define the 20th century. From telephones, televisions and automobiles, to aeroplanes, space travel and the internet; there can be little doubt that the past hundred or so years have seen the biggest technological advancements in the history of the human race.
But, whilst there can be little doubt that this technology has in many ways enhanced people’s lives, there are some major drawbacks to living in an age where you are connected to everybody, in every place at all times. Indeed, whether it’s through emailing, text messaging or instant messaging, there is barely a moment in the day when you are not able to contact the ends of the earth, all from a few clicks of a button.
However, it’s possibly fair to say that somewhere along this technological highway, people have forgotten the art of conversation. That is to say, it doesn’t even occur to many people to simply pick up the telephone and speak to friends, loved ones or even business acquaintances that you have grown to know purely through a cobbled-together collection of words on a computer monitor or handheld mobile device.
Of course, there are probably several good reasons why people have migrated more towards typing and texting as their preferred mode of communication. Firstly, there is the convenience of being able to squeeze a text or email in whenever there’s a spare moment; they can be stopped half-way through and resumed later should an unexpected distraction come along.
Then, there is the perceived cost, or lack thereof, of typing and texting over traditional telephone communication. An email or instant message costs nothing, whilst the cost of a text message is usually very little.
But, so much immediacy is lost through typed communication. An email ‘conversation’ can last for hours or days, whilst a plethora of text messages can be exchanged before an outcome is reached. And this can have major implications for personal and business relationships, which is why it’s important not to underestimate the positive effect verbal communication can have in any situation. It also adds a richness and sincerity that is hard to replicate through any other medium.
Furthermore, it doesn’t have to cost the earth to have a telephone conversation, even if they are in different countries to each other. Cheap international calls are readily available from all types of telephones including mobile phones, payphones and home landlines; meaning that the art of conversation can be rediscovered without it breaking the bank!