The Evolution of communication over digital media.

With the real time communication becoming a very popular means of self expression, there seems to be a new etiquette, or “lingo” so to say being put in place. Also, there is entirely new arrangement as to who communicates to whom.  Some folks love the concepts. Others loathe it, depending on age, gender and geography of the individual, without any consistent trend being applicable.

I could start from the Morse code, and fax but I do not want to dig so deep and beat around the bush. The following are very recent trends.

First and foremost, is the telephone call. It’s called  simply a call now, and is more often used as sync up medium. It is indispensable medium for friends who’re trying to meet up to be used as a coordination tool. Sample this conversation sequence. This does happen. All on a cell phone.

1-1-2012 9:00 PM

Mr. A:Let’s meet up tomorrow, at inorbit mall.

Miss B:sure, 5:00 PM then.  cya!

2-1-2012 4:45 PM

Mr. A:I’m running a little late . will reach by 5:30 PM.

Miss B:No problem, just gimme a missed call when you start.

2-1-2012 6:15 PM

Mr. A gives a call to Miss B, disconnects after a single ring, as a response of which Miss B starts to go to inorbit mall.

2-1-2012 6:30 PM

Miss B: I’ve reached. Come to Costa Cofee. I’m waiting there.

Mr. A: Sure. I’ll take another 5 minutes. cya!

2-1-2012 6:40 PM

Mr. A: Where are you, I don’t see you in Costa cofee.

Miss B: I’m on the end close to center.

Mr. A: Oh I see. I was coming in from the north end. And I see you.

I’m pretty sure Mr. Alexander Graham Bell would not have had the vision to see this kind of use for the device he created. I’m by no means complaining, but in fact noting the use of this voice call’s use. I’m sure if dead folks can see us, he’d be happily grinning up there somewhere.

It also kind of kills the concept of relying on each other. I mean see how soon you’ll call up friend/date on a meet, when you’ve turned up on time, but the other person is late. 5 minutes? 10 maybe. The cell phones have kind of de-valued the importance of other people’s time and plans I feel. It seems so convenient to call up 15 minute before the appointment and say I’ll be late, or not coming at all. Again I’m not suggesting that one has to be on time on all the occasions. Some times, being late is not by choice, but how soon before the appointment is the correct margin to notify the other party of your inability to make it. Cell phones have blurred those margins.

Text/Instant messaging.

Good for times, when you cannot do it on voice. When you need to get reminders, or addresses. People have however developed means to converse over messages too. Blackberry phones and the qwerty key pads are (were) a step in that direction. To enable people to carry out a conversation on text messaging.

Not just those devices, there is a new vocabulary developed to facilitate the expression of the ideas, with minimal effort. Read key presses. The language seems to  be a derivative of English, with all the vowels knocked out, and numbers being used for their phonetic values. The following line is actually something which has a conversational meaning, and is English.

“I hv bn lkng 4wd 2 mtng u.”

The buck certainly doesn’t stop here. The latest in thing is in social networking sites.

Status updates.

With social networking sites being all the rage, the newest trend here is updating what you’re up to with a phrase or a line. People are doing it, and some are doing it really effectively. This kind of communication enables one to be addressing a mass audience, and with that connect, you have a real time encyclopedia with a personal touch. Use it for crowd sourcing your problems, or networking. It’s quite an amazing way to communicate.

Of course there are people who don’t quite get the idea on what’s the use of this scheme. There have been status updates suggesting status updates with a post frequency of 5 mins on the lines of :

    • got up, brushing teeth.
    • taking a bath now. water is too cold.
    • eating breakfast. milk is too warm
    • leaving for school now.
    • Reached, ready for the grind … blah.

All of the preceding technologies are based on a single idea.

As humans, we feel the need, and realize the importance of communication. I cannot emphasize enough on how important I feel communication is. The ability to express one’s idea across, be it with analogies, humor or with supplement actions, leads to a sense of liberation when the point one makes gets across.

I hear you.
I hear you.

Keep talking. 🙂