Do you remember when we used to find out what was going on in a persons life by asking?
We are in a new age of communication. In a powerful way, social media platforms and technological advancements have minimized curiosity and asking questions.
In comparison to Alexa or Siri, asking a question person to person seems like an arduous, caveman like task. How do you get to know someone nowadays? Platform stalk? Read through their Facebook bio, find their LinkedIn, scroll through their Twitter, thumb through their Instagram?
Not knocking it, just stating how it is today. The art of communication has taken quite a turn.
I’ve often found myself discussing the latest news with someone, and if they are unaware, I’m shocked and remind them that it’s all over social media. How could they not have known?
And if you want to know something nowadays, there’s a platform for it – literally anything. Yelp and Google Reviews are the new word of mouth. Twitter is just as big of a political platform as presidential debates. Alexa and Siri know everything, so we don’t have to “waste” time researching in a book.
Just ask. Just ask your phone. Just ask your computer. Just ask TikTok. Just ask Quora. And then if all else fails and your power is out…it boils down to asking a person.
I thought of this idea one day while listening to a TEDtalk by Al Letson, host of the podcast Reveal by PRX. And during one of his wonderful talks, I felt so inspired. Like, maybe I could do a podcast. I decided to send a direct message to him and ask, “How do I get involved? How can I create my own?”—because (at the time) I had no idea how to get started. And then I didn’t send a thing.
I can just google those things, or at least that’s what I thought he would be thinking. I never reached out. Felt sort of, afraid to ask, because there is such a bevy of information floating around online that it seemed pointless.
Luckily, I happen to be married to a guy who actively teaches WordCamp attendees how to create a podcast (whew), and we subsequently have been working on one of our own called “This Married Life“. It’s a minor example—but here’s my point—is the availability of technology killing curiosity?
The other side of this coin is that it boosted the entrepreneurial spirit. Instead of taking a course at a college, users can just go online. The availability of free knowledge is everywhere; sites like Lynda.com (now known as LinkedIn Learning), Udemy.com, and so many others are replacing traditional, institutional face-to-face learning. It’s convenient to research online, take an online course, and communicate via email, messengers, and apps. Even banks started making apps, eliminating the need for person-to-person contact. Why hire a hairstylist? Watch a YouTube video and teach it to yourself. The list goes on and on…
Can you think of the last time you found out big news from a friend via a phone call vs. a Facebook status? Or handled everything you needed to be done without the assistance or interaction with another human being?
Challenge yourself: The next time you think about someone or what’s going on in their life – call them. Find ways to interact with people, engage in conversations outside of online profiles, have some real conversations, and ask some questions. Spark your curiosity, be inquisitive. ♥
There are definite pros and cons to the new age world of communication; what do you think? Curious to hear your thoughts.