It’s a good question: Are Friends That We Only Communicate With Digitally, Actually Real Friends At All?
Worries about how little people now communicate face to face, Goodfella’s Pizza has conducted yet another survey. This one found that 25% of all friendships are conducted entirely digitally.
That’s a eye-watering one in four of our ‘friendships’ that we run by speaking to each other ONLY through some social media.
It seems that we may well ‘talk’ to these friends at least once a week (which is more than many do to their own relatives nowadays), nonetheless there is an average SIX YEARS between meets.
The survey showed that people can no longer remember ‘what a friend’s laugh or voice sounded like’. But hey, no matter, they know what friends had for tea yesterday or what they ‘liked’.
Apparently people feel awkward after a long gap, so they avoid it. Others would rather bump into somebody accidentally than deliberately set up and keep a face-to-face appointment.
Guilt may have played some part in not feeling able to communicate after a long time. But the fact surely is that it’s possible to lose the ability to talk to somebody in person?
Back in September we published a blog called Communication and Bad Manners Are Redefined in This Technological Era, which should have been sort of wakeup call to a world too busy on its phones to listen.
Phones Do Not Connect Us
Meanwhile a bunch of academics at Cologne Institute for Economic Research have been cataloguing the way the mobile revolution has transformed life for individuals and families. They have concluded that mobile phones can actually destroy relationships, not help them.
Digital connectivity may help us ‘keep in touch instantly’ but alters how we carry on our relationships and establish new ones.
It seems, they reckon, that the phone more than any other device has become an extension of our bodies, the way we carry it everywhere and are helpless when it goes missing.
They have so much part of our lives, people don’t turn them off and even use them while with somebody else or even having sex.
The phone can be reassurance and even strengthen some relationships. But it can also be a threat to personal space and freedom, and can ‘impede contact with others.’ Its incessant calling can become a form of tyranny.
You need to see the video at YouTube, I Forgot My Phone to see if any of this starts to make sense and should worry us just a little….
Have you also seen?
There Is No Off-Switch in Today’s 24/7 Connected World, 6 August 2013
Is the Fantasy of the Smartphone Getting Silly Now? 12 June 2013
Image: Jim Champion