We were born to be social creatures. Communication is in our DNA.
How we connect is constantly evolving and right now, we’re going through another dynamic shift in channel development. How we adopt and use these channels is going to shape our relationships and lives.
This is especially true as we get older – the rate of cognitive decline is 70% slower if you’re an avid socialiser. Quite simply, when you use your brain and body the way it was intended, you age better.
Instant messaging is the least intimate form of communication (but the most widely used).
This causes an issue. As we replace face to face interactions and phone calls with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat, something gets lost. You don’t just lose voice inflection, you often lose translation.
An eggplant to one person might mean a vegetable to another – and who knows what the meaning was in the first place?
Is calling an old friend a scary thought?
How and when did that happen? We used to spend hours on the phone to our friends, our parents used to throttle us for massive phone bills, but life was good. Then somewhere along the line, phone calls became free, data exploded and we shifted to messaging apps. Don’t get me wrong, I whole-hearted believe there is a place for messaging apps and I’m just as guilty of using them as my primary source of communication – but that doesn’t make it right. What you gain in convenience, you lose in connection. When was the last time you told someone how you’re really feeling over WhatsApp?
Understanding the role of all these channels is the crux of the solution. When to tweet, when to SMS, when to call, when to FaceTime and when to chat face to face. Once we make these channels work for us – and not against us – to build stronger, deeper relationships, we’ll be in a better place.
Ignorance is bliss. Transparency is clarity.
With that in mind, Yes Lab is analysing the humble phone call – including who you’re calling, how long you’re speaking for and whether it enhances your relationships.
So when was the last time you called your mum? Or your best friend? How long did you chat with them for? What’s happening under the surface of a Facebook post? Maybe it’s time to find out.