This week as I’ve been learning about phatic communication, business etiquette, and email technique I’ve been thinking a lot about the development of these concepts. Phatic communication is all about building and maintaining good relationships with other people. Business etiquette pertains to treating people with respect while preserving your personal brand. Lastly, emailing technique is one of the components within the above concepts that helps maintain those relationships while providing the opportunity to demonstrate solid character. With all of that in mind I started thinking about how I can take what I know about the history of these components and combine it with what I observe everyday to figure out what all of this might look like in the future.
I chose to start by looking at the different mediums we communicate through because a lot of my classmates talked about social media, email, and in person communication. I found a really cool video during this search:
“A Day Made of Glass” by Corning
It’s unbelievable to think that this is what our world could be like in a couple of years. One of the big business etiquette points that I responded to was the act of being on your cell phone when you’re having a conversation with somebody. If people already have issues sitting at the same dinner table without using their phones, how are they supposed to be able to focus with all of this additional technology? I mean soon we might be able to eat dinner with people virtually.
I also think the amount of communication methods in the video was amazing. I did like how everything appeared to be cohesive though. My need for organization and cohesiveness is clearly displayed by my collection of Apple products. Once I got my MacBook Pro everything I bought from there on out had to be Apple so that I knew it would all sync together. Back to my point though, there are so many outlets for phatic communication to take place. Think about how many ways you communicate in the first two hours of your day…unbelievable right? This has become abundantly clear to me during my experience abroad. It has ridiculously difficult to communicate with friends and family back in the states these past six weeks:
I can call and text back to the states but I only have a couple of minutes and text messages a day. Therefore, I downloaded an application called Viber that provides free calling and texting but only when you have Wifi. Key words being only when you have Wifi. I have wifi at school, at my flat, and wherever I can steal free wifi so if I know I won’t be by wifi for awhile I’ll send an email. If I will have wifi I normally use my Facebook messaging app. Even though I can’t call to the US because I only have a few minutes I can facetime for free so I do that as much as possible and I can also iMessage, but that’s difficult because you have to have an internet connection to both of those (and I have difficulty getting my iMessage to not send real messages). But then facetime cuts out so I turn to Google Hangout from my phone and when that quits I try it from my computer and when that just doesn’t cut it, it’s time to bring out the big guns…Skype. In one conversation with one person I could have to go through 4 different mediums. I know all of that was a messy, terribly long, and confusing but it was meant to reflect how annoying it is to use 10 different outlets, all of which serve different purposes and have different levels of functionality. It reminds me of this video:
He’s Just Not that Into You: Rejected by 7 Different Technologies
Through all of these outlets we’re practicing phatic communication. As I said though, coming from a person who needs organization and cohesiveness I worry that we’re getting to a point where there are so many ways to communicate that quality conversations are becoming difficult to have digitally. That is a scary thought because we just talked about coworking how and big of a practice that is becoming.
The Wang, Tucker, and Rihll article includes how human action shapes technology. I’m not saying that all of these different technological breakthroughs have been making communication more difficult. I am saying that, despite the frustrations I talked about above, all of our human actions have shaped the evolution of this technology and all of them have purpose for being here. What I am interested in is seeing how the avenues of communication develop over time.
The future is looking very complex!