Social media: erosion of overall communication?

Just barely 20 years ago, mobile phones or internet were either a luxury or still a bit of science fiction. And let’s admit, the mere thought of it bemused many of us at that time.

Meanwhile some revolutionary changes took place and nowadays, we manage our private life as well as business through social media; no longer limited to a specific geographic location or time constraints.

Do we still understand the function of communication?

Going swiftly back to the beginnings again; at least those who saw the potential advantages in the automatisation - no more Tipp-Ex, sending mails without queuing at the post-office, etc.; much time to be saved, more free time… Free time?

Whereas we could save on a process-cycle, instead of creating more free (creative?) time, we became somewhat overloaded with the quantity of mails or other data (whether really relevant for our job or not).

Gradually, social media platforms gained a solid foothold, especially for professional purposes too; to network, to promote. In the end, we suddenly discovered that our clients are not just an anonymous and fictitious group but all individuals, who also have unlimited access to data. Not only were your employees your greatest asset, suddenly also your customers. Communication became the trend.

"We perhaps forgot how to reply, actively listen to the real needs of the other"

Yet while we catapult flyers, presentations and videos into the media, communication has become rather an endangered skill; mails are hardly answered, customer services work with standardized replies, where your solution seems not to be among the alternatives, a simple job interview has become a degraded check-list. A sad one-way alley.

And basically communication – as the etymological root implies – has to do with binding or forming the ‘commune’, i.e. society, group, peers, partners… Instead we shout into the universe but nobody (wants to) listens or rarely understands. We perhaps forgot how to reply, actively listen to the real needs of the other… Much potential opportunities are thus being missed.

Partly it is caused by the (false) assumption that technology has replaced all that is around as. It is merely a tool. Nothing more than that. When e.g. receiving a message from your connection and only viewing his/her profile is not enough; not replying does not give a good impression on one’s professionalism. Connections are not polished trophies to be collected on a shelf. We, real people, are the ones that still need to act, react, or interact. Just as it was done since the dawn of times.

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