It will end in tears

I hate the way people communicate at the moment. It is an orgy of self-indulgence, navel-gazing, gossip and muttering…

Cue everyone gulping and staring at Emma as if she has lost the plot

OK, my first sentences may have been strong but I feel lost in this Alice in Wonderland (after the pill – when she was small) world, and I am an expert in communication; I should be able to cut through the noise and find a direction for people, and create protocols that enable conversation without:

  1. wasting anyone’s valuable time, and
  2. pissing anyone off

But I can’t… I am struggling to find the way through. (I am obviously talking about digital media here, Twitter, Facebook, email, Bebo, Pownce, texting ad nauseum – so ignoring completely telephone, snail mail and F2F.)

What we seem to have enthusiastically entered into is an orgy of communication, braying with our own success, or craving the news of others every minute – sometimes second – of the day.

How many of you are eternally thinking up the next natty update? Or fail to relish any precious moment in our eagerness to share it across our personalised digital gob?

As ever, such delicious self-indulgence has a cost, and this cost is what I am currently pondering and trying to find the tools to mitigate… just for fun, of course 🙂

Take for example a story that was related to me by a close friend: A young lady was stepping out, often horizontally, with a fella. After a few dates he promised to call… and never did, prompting the bewildered maiden to call up her mate and declare his death – assuming that there could be no other reason for his sudden and complete silence. (He wasn’t he had just naffed off.)


But, it makes me think. All of our relationships are developed through communication – in person, on the telephone, through stories from friends and family, in texts, IM, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, &c &c &c

It is a primal instinct to communicate our needs to the person or people we deem most likely to be able to fulfil them, and the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest dictates that we are programmed to be pretty good at this stuff… so what happens when we are able to SOS our needs to one person or many immediately, through – say – five hyper-efficient mediums (at least). Our expectation is that within seconds we will be satisfied – of course, it is Darwinian, it is the way the world works, right?

Nope, not the digital world, the theory of evolution is completely flummoxed by digital comms – communicating our needs is something that the highly evolved have nutted, very well – and that is good. Responding to the relentless demand for attention that these tools enable requires biological, human input. And that will never, ever compete with the eternal quest for survival that commands us to eternally communicate our needs and only when they are fulfilled, can we properly help others.

See the problem? We are forever SOS-ing, and in an eternal quest for resolution, yet rarely satisfied. Without satisfaction/peace we are not programmed to help anyone else (except superficially).

You see the problem I am picking at here?

I have no solution yet, but it is niggling me enough for me to share it with you and see what you guys have to say 🙂