Have you ever thought about how at some point in history (before the invention of telephones), the question “Where are you?” was actually one that doesn’t make any sense? I’m pretty sure that you never thought about that and the more you do, the more weird you realize how it actually is. Well.. this is just how much communication ways have changed throughout our lives, to the extent of turning a sentence that was complete gibberish into a valid question we now use all the time.
To cut a long story of history short, we first started communicating using hand written letters. It was the most personal and elegant way of communication mankind ever knew, yet it was also the slowest and least guaranteed one to actually work. If you wanted to say even the simplest thing to someone who was far away, you’d get a piece of paper and start writing them.
Imagine if all you wanted to tell someone was “wassup” and your only way of communication was through a letter. Would you still get up and send them that one word letter? Would you forgo the letter altogether or would you be obliged to write more since you’re writing them anyway? If you’ll choose the former, then I daresay modern life suits you well.
Doesn’t that look neat?
Sometimes you would be missing someone, you’d get a paper and a pen and teardrops would fall to stain your letter. Sometimes, you would be scared and your hands would tremble while writing them and your handwriting would show it. Other times, you would be sad and drops of wine would fall down on your piece of paper and they would know how much you are trying to drink your misery away. It was always your own hands who wrote down what you wanted to say and your own handwriting that was the medium for your emotions.
Recently, the only kind of letters I hear is still a thing is threatening letters to celebrities.
Nowadays, we literally have entire conversations using only emoticons. You can be shit-faced drunk texting and sending a cactus emoticon followed by a mushroom emoticon would be considered a completely normal answer to the question “How have you been doing?”. If you don’t want anyone all up in your business, you can easily get away with sending a smiley face as an appropriate reply.
We should stop focusing on the medium we communicate through and start focusing on how we’re using it. If you want genuine communication, then share genuine thoughts through WhatsApp. If you want personal conversations like the ones people had through parchments and handwritten letters then write a letter, take a photo of it and send it on Facebook. Get creative!
Give it up to mobile phones though for saving us from long boring lectures!
Technology isn’t taking away our communication skills; we’re doing that to ourselves by repeatedly complaining that the world around us is evolving too much too fast.