It wasn’t a long time ago. I was on a lunch break with my lovely editor in chief and some other friends from work. At the time, I was doing my editorial intern on a woman’s magazine in Istanbul. I remember my editor in chief mentioning about her daughter Gizem’s new addiction. The smartphone craze apparently went around her too. She seemed quite flabbergasted about Gizem’s performance on the phone.’She kept texting on and on and on’ she said. After a while she told Gizem to invite the phone friend over the house. And She did. Invited her friend. Foods were served. Everyone was happy. But still, somethings were not going as she expected. ‘ Two hours ago, she was texting as if her life depended on it, now there was an awkward silence in the room. They were not talking.’ she said.
I won’t to jump into a conclusion saying that SMARTPHONES ARE EVIL. THEY KILL THE REAL CONVERSATION. But, her story does evoke some points about the new way of communication.
First of all, I do appreciate the blessings of social network and digital tools. I will not contradict the fact that we are more connected than ever. And social networks does help a lot creating communities, even social movements. From ‘yahoo answers’ users to the activists in Middle East. It enables staying connected for whatever purpose.
What I believe is that we mostly get close to each other on social networks to the extent that we want. Because, we have the tool to arrange the distance. We have the control on what we want to say, when we want to say, how much we want to say. Edit, delete or not say anything and like it. As these tools allows us to be contribute, it allows to ignore. You can not leave a table when you are having a face-to-face conversation but you can If you have the right tool.
Yes we are connected more than ever but the spontaneity is lost, and with it the true face of the other half of the conversation. The natural of flow of real things, the cyber conversations lack the most. Cliche but true. Social network changed the way of communication. We have now 140 character limit to complain about the nonfunctionality of our Blackberries. A small circle with a glass lens where we can look into the world’s audience and release a song just like Dave Caroll did, whose guitar was mercilessly damaged by United Airlines. When you have a video tells about the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition and when it is beautifully animated with lot of colors , who needs words?
If I go back to the case of Gizem, do you think it is the lack of confidence that retracts her to have a real conversation or the sense of feeling more guarded using a phone which gives control over the communication? What do you think?