Today a former colleague of mine celebrates her birthday. Facebook already informed me and of course (Hi Social Media!), reminded me that I should leave a message on her wall. As always. The thing is: I don’t like those Facebook wall messages anymore. Some years ago, I was quite happy to count the number of people that wrote on my wall, until I recognized for myself that this was not really something that was driven by those people but more caused by permanent reminders by Facebook. So those wall messages dropped hugh in my value. I started to put more value in personal messages via WhatsApp, Twitter, SMS (totally old school) or even direct messages via Facebook. So I started to write people again and I was happy to get a reply…even if it was a simple “Thanks!” but at least it was a nonpublic reaction to my personal message. I don’t want to show everybody “I recognized this birthday…look here I wrote something as well!”
I think this is a major issue to our times that we communicate more than ever but we talk less than ever. Was a Facebook wall some times ago a good way to show and react to something it separates us more and more because it’s just like leaving a message but then running away because you might get into a conversation. But isn’t a conversion what should have? Talking to people is a way to stay in touch…question->answer a simple dialog. But this is what establishes friendships and relationships. It strengthens the bond of friendship if you get into a direct dialog. Facebook made it too simple for us to forget about this.
Just a little self-experiment:
Check you last birthday…how many calls you had? How many direct messages you received and how many people wrote on your Facebook wall? I assume 70% of all your congratulations came via Facebook wall. If this is the case on your site, you might understand what I’m talking about. And this is where we need to step back, even if social media wants us to do so.
Technology is a great thing, no doubt, but with all the comfort and benefits it brings to us, it takes something in return. When Google announced on its keynote this voice assistant, I was shocked. Do you really need an AI to get you a table in a restaurant or an appointment with your hairdresser? Aren’t you able to do it yourself? Does Google say that it gives you more time to focus on important things, but isn’t the ability to interact with people one of the most important things? We shouldn’t let us take away those tiny pieces of communication, because if we lost them due to convenience, it’s only a matter of time before we want an AI do more things like that… maybe more complex things…and in the end the AI calls your husband/wife/boy- or girlfriend to congratulate to his/her birthday. A nightmare in my point of view.
If we put more value to this kind of communication, we are able to give more to this society because we are able to value the person in front of us. That’s why I took my time and wrote my former colleague some sentences. Directly, personal and private…on XING. 😉