My roommate and I were talking to the other day about how communication is evolving. We had just finished watching a SoulPancake video on YouTube in which Rainn Wilson asks that viewers send in videos of their own, to a question he asked.
Many people say that my generation’s communication skills are getting worse, and in some cases, I agree completely. We lack conversation skills in some aspects and truly need to work on that. But at the same time, I would say that how we communicate isn’t necessarily getting bad, but also evolving into forms of communication that we’ve never had before.
Take the Rainn Wilson video. This specific one was a part of his Metaphysical Milkshake segment and he was interviewing Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He asks viewers to right on a balloon, something they learned that blew their minds and proceed to pop the balloon and upload a video of you doing it. The idea of not just being a sedentary viewer but an active participant in the conversation is different.
As the internet evolves, our ability to communicate through it evolves as well. Instead of being bystanders to others, we join the conversation. We have and opportunity now to not only connect with those around us, but with complete strangers around the world. This allows for a unique collaboration of ideas and thoughts. We have a platform that can get people involved and allow others to learn something new.
The challenge will be to use this new platform of communication to only enhance the one that we already have. Another problem is that people tend to me more rude on the internet. Manners and respect still play a vital part in intelligent discourse. I see our changing forms of communication as an opportunity and not a downfall.
Now if only they could create a way to depict sarcasm in text… 🙂