Technologies have really changed the way we communicate with one another.
There’s now low verbal communication and even in businesses, transactions are been made without human communication.
While this can have lots of inherent benefits, there are also negative effects on our social life and health.
Many, including our partner, Fishpools are now campaigning for outdoor recreation and activities to bring back the real social life.
Internet and smartphones are main catalysts in the evolution of human interactions, and with artificial intelligence and the development of robots, chatbots, it’s going to have a lasting impacts on the way we live.
This is evident in today’s mobile communications.
With the wide range of communication options like voice chats, video calling, messengers, social networks and others offered by smartphone makers and third parties, digital transformation in communication has come to stay.
While some school of thoughts believe digital communication would not lead to an impoverishment of social contacts, many others have linked communication over devices to many social vices, change in behavior, norms and culture of the society.
Some health researches are also pointing to similar directions as rate of depression, anxiety and related diseases especially mild mental illnesses are becoming higher.
They now suggest we spend more time outside with real people.
Let’s now look into some of the pros and cons digital communication tools but firstly, the advantages of online conversations in communication processes.
- Reaching out to larger audience:
In person-to-person communication, the number of people you can reach out to is limited unlike internet communication.
You can reach out to as many people as possible as information spread quickly and they don’t easily get out of circulation.
Print media, TV and radio broadcasting had ever been the ways to reach huge audience but information quickly get out of circulation unless you keep active campaigns which usually cost much budgets.
- Distance in communication is never a barrier:
While you need to keep people together in a location for man-to-man form of communication, you can talk to people from different geographical locations online.
Even the frequencies at which your radio and TV transmissions are done are limited so also the distribution channels of print media is limited but digital communication has no boundary.
- Digital Communication is processed fast, easier and cheaper
Communication is now more direct and immediate, making it easier for us to interact, send message and get feedback quickly and also stay connected to people.
There are different processing techniques which are available for digital signals such as data compression, image processing, equalization and channel coding, among others.
It’s also diversified. It allows facilities like video conferencing which save a lot of time, money and effort, and can as well tolerate noise interference.
Some Threats of internet communication to social interaction
Like the Newton’s law, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
With the aforementioned advantages of internet and mobile technologies in communication, there are also disadvantages it’s causing us as humans.
- Bullying over the internet :
Hatred, racism can easily be propagated over the internet.
There’s now the issue of cyberbullying, people launching attacks on tribes, culture, race and others.
Despite most social networks fighting this with advanced AI techs to detect hate speeches and block them from showing, the problem is not reduced to a reasonable low level.
People can easily create multiple fake accounts and use them for different purposes, use them for anything they want, which includes perpetrating bad things.
Since it’s difficult to track them, fake stories or report, threats and intimidation contents can be posted and propagated to large audience to bring about chaos.
- Wrong interpretation to opinions:
Body language is very important in communication, it can tell much about the message you’re given.
Communications over the internet can make people more aggressive as opinion can be interpreted differently but such might not happen if it had been face to face conversation.
- Invasion of Privacy:
We now live most of our lifetime over the internet.
We talk less to humans but easily expose happenings about and around us on social sites.
This means that we are revealing more about ourselves and around us to more people beyond who we know.
Your personal information can be easily viewed by people you don’t know and can also be sold to corporate organizations to market products and services to you.
- Cyber crime:
There are more to do now to safeguard our properties. It’s not about living in a secured environment, providing security mechanisms within and around your house.
Cyber crime is another serious issue the world is battling with. As digital communication increases, so also online theft.
Hackers can breach into digital devices for communication or platforms for interaction and get our details which can be further used for dubious acts which can result to financial losses to the victims, or personal life.
- It wastes time and reduce productivity:
In verbal conversation, you can discuss lots of issues within a short period of time and easily come to an agreement on what to do but it’s not as that over the internet.
There are lots of distractions while communicating over the internet.
You may receive new email, new chat message from another platform, a pop up notification, ads and others can distract you and make you spend more time on other things rather than the reason you’re online.
Some surveys have shown that people spend about 25% or more of their time online on social networks.
When these are non-work activities and is not bringing any value that can be monetized, then it’s much like a waste of time.
Employees who also got distracted by notifications of online messages spend more time on social networks which can reduce their performance and productivities in office.
As much pros of digital communication so also the cons, it is therefore important to preach the gospel of using internet and digital communication devices for productivity and spend reasonable time with humans to strengthen our values.