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10 Jul 2008 / Julie

No time to think: Communication in the electronic era

I’d hope, that for most of you, this isn’t new news but unless we make ourselves take it, we no longer have the time to digest information before we react to it.

We can read an email (or think we’ve read it) and respond back, before actually *thinking* and *digesting* the whole thing. And sometimes this gets us into trouble.

Also- being human, and full of faux pas (especially when growing up) is no longer limited to the realm of “youthful trial and error.” Now, within seconds, probably before anyone’s brains had time to fully engage and process, it’s everywhere. And I do mean Everywhere.

In an article from CBS News, they talk about teens snapping pics of themselves that often lead into the wrong hands- which is way easy online. “Now,” the article reads, “a stupid adolescent mistake can take on major implications and go on their record for the rest of their lives.”

Most of the librarian folk i know have used the internet archive to find linked information that had disappeared but on the flip side, it can also be used to find stuff that has since gone into privacy mode. It’s easy to learn the hard way that you have to PROTECT EVERYTHING first and then release it into the public realm after the brain has engaged.

My cell phone can take (pretty good) pics that i can instantly send to flickr for public posting. If someone were to do something stupid, i, in theory, could capture it and share it with the world in seconds (depending on upload speeds and cell signal strength. ha). Then, let’s suppose someone found it before i had the good judgment to delete it or make it private- too late! they could have copied it, saved it, jing‘ed it, dugg it, downloaded it, or any number of things.

Is the nature of things now changing the way we react? We can’t ponder over a letter for days while we write back, seal it in an envelope, stamp it, and then maybe decide to not send it. We sometimes type faster than our brains work and click “send” before we’ve given ourselves the opportunity to think. Is this crossing over into the rest of our lives? Do we react faster now? Are we more impatient because we expect faster reactions? I’d say yes.

… more on this as i give myself time to really think about it…

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