We are all on our mobile phones. Watching the rush hour crowd filled with “zombies” glued to their phones, taking in content, checking their emails and messages. The situation is a significant one even to the guys in Hollywood that have put out a film that shows a virus being transmitted on the mobile turning the city’s occupants into zombies. Marketers have caught onto this and this is one of the reasons for the growth in digital advertising spend. Look at people on dates (or so I think they are) spending a considerable amount of time on their phones instead of talking. But I’m getting off topic…back to the issue at hand.
A proliferation of messaging apps such as Slack, wechat, whatsapp and line have changed the landscape. Coupled with email, we are inundated with stimuli and the need to respond. Through in social media and you start to wonder how we find time. One question is why do people pick one form over another? Perhaps relates to the content and context of what they want to communicate. Or maybe it is the response time. Do you expect and response faster to messaging apps? Are people starting to expect a faster response to email?
Don’t people call anymore? The reason why I say that is that personally if you need an urgent answer, just call. If I’m available, I’ll pick up. If not I’ll call you back at the next available timing. Further to that, talking over the phone is the next best thing to talking face to face. Get the message across and clarify those emotions. Words at time just sound harsh if you don’t know the person.
I repeat. We are all on our mobile phones. The question is what next. Let the lines of communication blur.
Update: 17 April 2017
Just wanted to attach an excerpt from a mail I received from Russel. Check out his blog at resumewriter.sg
When I was studying in NUS, I was a Facebook addict. My phone was constantly beeping with notifications and I was always the first to come up with witty replies to my friends. I always knew all the gossip and latest events.
I was so plugged in.
Then, as I got older, I realised that Facebook was eating a lot of my time.
I was spending a lot of time reading random articles on my newsfeed, and not enough time reading great books.
I’d spend hours stalking the profiles of friends and ex-girlfriends, admiring their amazing lives. And instead of getting out of the house and living my own amazing life, I’d get jealous of theirs and feel sorry for myself.
Envy is such a destructive force in modern society. And when not used correctly, Facebook magnifies that force.
So over a year ago, I decided I was done.
I deleted my Facebook account.
And suddenly I had so much time.
Time to read books. Time to exercise. Time to spend with the people I love.
My work productivity skyrocketed too. I had no distractions. So I was able to finish work early and socialise with my friends after.
Life just got better.
These days, when I miss a friend, I FaceTime video call them, often during lunch. Since no one calls anymore, people think it’s important and pick up. So my calls always get through. 🙂
In that 5 minute call, I get a really strong connection with my friends. I hear their voice, see their faces, notice their smiles. I feel connected to them. No amount of Facebook likes on their wall can replicate that feeling.
Real connections happen in real life. (or on FaceTime)
Facebook is a great tool for connecting people. But I’m happier without it.
Give it a try. Get off Facebook for a week. See if it brings you the happiness it brought me.
PS: This is a great picture. While everyone is focused on recording videos for Facebook with their phones, this old lady is just enjoying the parade. Being present in the moment.