Social pressures sometimes hit us like a wave, and then recede. Like fashions, slogans or celebrity marriages, they drift away from our collective conscious like the tide receding.
But sometimes, these things hit like a tsunami, and are here to stay. Some things hit us with such force they become permanent fixtures in our society. In our civilisation. The trend towards being in contact, and sharing things with friends and family through this contact, is one of these.
King Canute shouted at the sea, ordering it to recede. To no avail. And you would have just as much luck trying to turn back the tide of Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as they impact our lives.
There is an overwhelming obligation, at both an individual and societal level, to gather and share as much data as possible.
We share pictures of family, of friends. We share pictures of family gatherings. Of ourselves. Of our cats.
We even share pictures of other people’s cats doing funny things!
Alongside is the drive to link our lives and thoughts to others. Just as we take pictures of a family dinner, so we also review the restaurant online. Just as we share pictures on a social media page, so we also use the very same page to call friends or family.
As technology has given us the opportunity to both gather and share more data, so it has also made a request of us. It requests us to be more in touch. We are driven to fulfil our obligations to call, video call, text and message. As technology puts the possibility in front of us, so we feel we have to respond.
After all, the routes of communication have expanded almost exponentially since the first phone was designed and used.
There is no comparison between the very first phones, and a modern smartphone.
The first phones resembled a piece of modernist sculpture, designed by an abstract artist. As if someone decided to make a talking device out of some old bric-a-brac, and left the designing to Pablo Picasso.
A modern smartphone lets you have a conversation. You can look up information on the internet. It can help you by giving you directions while driving. It can even help by monitoring your health.
More than that, a phone doesn’t have to physically exist. You can use a softphone.
These are apps which download, and allow users to make and receive calls.
So, along with the expectation to talk and share more, we also now have the tools for responding.
We have chat messages over a website. We have texting from one smartphone to another. You can call from a webpage. You can discuss plans for an evening out using your smartphone, and with the same device book it all, pay any bills and give public reviews to say how it went.
We are all so much more contactable, and in contact than ever before, and the same is true for when we are at work. Employers now have a plethora of options to offer employees.
With so many people now working from home, or adopting a hybrid model of working, having a flexible and affordable range of communication options is more important than ever.
The advantages of being able to take a phone call on one device, for instance, and transfer the conversation to another device mid-conversation, is very useful, and would have been undreamed of even a few years ago.
From softphone options, to company chat, to Wall-boards passing information to managers, the methods of communicating data appear almost limitless.
If you’d like a conversation to discuss how these possibilities could help either you or your company, just get in touch.