The world is beckoning, “Come Tweet With Me!” Â MySpace, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter have become household names in a span of a few years. The rate in which change happens used to be measured in decades, five year plans and terms of office. Now, we measure change in nano-seconds, or at least as fast as your last tweet. What is happening to the world of communication? Â I don’t know if we should all be excited or mildly confused? Â We know we have grown into a community that wants it quicker, faster, shorter, smarter, that we can boldly declare ourselves the “Now Generation!”
At no other time in our history, have we been a more global nation than we are today. Communication technology is a wonderful thing. Â It will ultimately be responsible for creating some of the new wealth and booming economy and be responsible for an increase in jobs in the coming years like no other time before. Â Rapid growth leads to rapid change. Â Rapid change leads to more change, and that’s when we start to notice something has disappeared? Â When high growth meets high tech we lose the one thing that really impacts us all, high touch. Â In a world where picking up the phone is as novel a concept as flying to the moon on your lunch hour, we are in jeopardy of losing our ability to speak and to communicate on a unique and personal level. Â
It’s great when we learn how Ashton Kutcher has just received 1 million Â followers on Twitter, but what does that really mean to anyone?Â It’s not to say that the information technology era we are living in is completely void of “personality.” Â But, we are missing the high touch that comes with personal contact. Â Whether it’s working along side your co-worker or having dinner with your family, we all need, and on some level require, the presence of another living being. Virtual, does not need to imply “virtually no interaction.” Â
The job market for example is changing with technology in a whole new way. Classified job advertisements in newspapers, circulars and trade magazines was for decades the standard way anyone ever used to really learn about jobs. Search firms, temporary agencies and your “personal network” provided other resources until the emergence of technology came to pass. Â Today with the emergence of job boards, which have surprisingly only been around in the last 10 years, will soon be considered archaic, and will be replaced by new business practices such as “Twitter, SimplyHired, LinkedIn and other equally non-personal ways to seek out your next career.
Don’t get me wrong, running an online recruitment business for the past 8 years, I’m all for faster, better, smarter myself. Â What I fear in all this is how far we are ultimately removing ourselves from personal interaction. The ability to converse with someone when we actually do get in front of an interviewer or more importantly, when we actually land the job is as important an aspect of communication that our last post on Facebook.
Is all this high growth, high tech without high touch the way the Now Generation prefers to communicate? Â If so, it is a sad commentary on the evolution of media and communication in this generation no matter how remarkable our efforts to excel technologically have proven. Â But, I am more hopeful than that. Â In this world of faster, better, smarter we have ourselves to blame when we relay too heavily on technology to be the primary means by which we communicate. Â The brilliance in this movement is the way in which we can reach the masses with our message so directly and so precisely hitting our exact target. What we need however, is to not lose sight of the one thing that matters, our ability to relate on a personal level to the people we physically come in contact with in all areas of our life.
The good news is that I know someone will create an APP that will turn the virtual into the personal, as we continue to enjoy our cyber-latte, reading our morning Kindle.
And here’s to embracing the “Now Generation!”
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