Ramblings on One Way We Might Minimize the Negative Effects of Asynchronous, Text-Based Communication

I text my parents, sometimes as a replacement for calling. I Slack congratulations emojis to my coworkers, often instead of warm, real-life word of praise. I don’t like it. We’re losing something as we gain other things, such is the cycle of technology.

But maybe there’s a way to cope…read on…

My fiancee recently moved to Phoenix, AZ from our beloved city of San Francisco, CA for work until next year.

As such, we’re texting and calling each other more.

This morning, I wanted to tell her about a bunch of things. But we have been calling a lot and I didn’t want to interrupt the work she was doing today, so I decided to text her instead.

As I set out to write a multi paragraph text, I stopped. I dictated it instead.

While not nearly as satisfying as talking to her live, let alone in person, dictating felt better than typing out the stories I was sharing with her.

Why? Well, of course, it was as if I was speaking to her…although for her, reading it will be the same, perhaps dry, feeling as if I had texted her.

1:1 communication like this is two-sided: Speaker and Listener. Or potentially, Texter and Reader. But with dictation, it’s Speaker and Reader. Odd, no? Yet another notable sociological phenomenon in our increasingly technologically-powered society. And if I get to speak something, in a world of asynchronous, text-based communication, speaking instead of texting makes the communication feel more real, even if the way in which it is received doesn’t change much at all.

Do I think this is as good as being able to speak to one another live, or in person? Of course not. We can’t stop change, but we can lament aspects of it, and cope with them if we so desire. I wonder about dictations and other technologies as remedies and coping mechanisms to the flaws created by…other technologies. ::shrug::

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