Ways of Communicating
I haven’t posted for a while - well ages - largely due to the fact my report is nearly due - and I have been spending every waking moment trying to put that together
But I digress…
Just in the nick of time, (the report is due next week and I am just putting the finishing touches on it now) VodafoneNZ has conducted a survey of New Zealand’s mobile phone habits… I haven’t got a copy of the actual survey findings, but here is a summary gleaned from the NZ Herald article which you can read here.
So, are we addicted to texting??? I know I’m not … but my students???!!!! The results of the survey definitely point to a social shift to which mobile phone use in general (but particularly texting) has contributed.
For those of you reading from afar, NZ has a population of just over 4 million…
New Zealanders send at least 600 million text messages a month
Calls to mobiles or text messages were the preferred way to keep in touch with friends. (73.8%)
Email 14.2% and social networking sites 4.7% were the preferred method of contact over calling someone on the landline 3.1%! (which I can agree with the only people who ring our landline are my parents and Darren’s parents… and yet we still have a landline?? I guess we need it for interweb anyway…
Although when I first met my husband (in 1999) I had a mobile (well a brick that needed to be charged every 36 hours) I don’t think texting had been invented! Therefore, I have been completely immune from having to add another complication to the whole dating/meeting people scene. However, 44.2% of people surveyed said that they had asked for a date via text! Interestingly, 20% of people had caught someone cheating through checking their text messages (is it just me or is that a lot of people cheating?) (oh and is it also just me or is it that a lot of DUMB people cheating?) Once again - I digress….
There is definitely a whole new culture being developed around the social norms to do with the way we communicate with others which I find fascinating. Things that I personally have noticed in my own use is that I use email to contact ‘contacts’ or work colleagues but social networking sites (facebook) to contact friends. I don’t like it when colleagues (who aren’t also my friends) want to join me on Facebook but interestingly I find it even more uncomfortable when friends try to follow me on the social networking sites in which I do all of my work type networking. The two are distinct groups (although there are a few people who do cross in to both groups which is also nice!). I think it is interesting how different online spaces seem to have such distinct unwritten rules that we follow (or that I seem to!) and because this space is all so new we are writing them as we go.
Funny little facts that seemed to keep coming through from the students I spoke to throughout the year… there was a general feeling that it was considered rude to call someone with out texting to check they were free first. Some students also talked about the awkwardness of talking on the phone and not knowing what to say or having silent pauses - texting gave them the opportunity to think about what they actually wanted to say and respond in their own time… But when asked what they actually texted about - most said they were generally texting about nothing in particular!
After somewhat of a rather chatty post, I think I have managed to find statistics AND my own personal evidence to go some way to explaining the way that technology is changing the way we communicate with each other.
Is change a bad thing? Nah … something I once read (and I can’t remember where I read it now) was the suggestion that the invention of the household freezer impacted communities and communication in the most profound way in the 20th century as no longer did people have to share food amongst the community as they had too much and had no way of keeping it, they could take care of themselves and their family’s own requirements and did not need to connect with others in the same way.
To me, while the WAY we are communicating is different, the thing that I think is so exciting is that we are communicating so much more! Via social networking sites I am talking on a weekly basis with people who I had otherwise lost touch with, through sending informal text messages you can chat to people without committing to an in-depth phone conversation which often you never get round to, and through email you can keep so many more people up to date with what you are doing through group email.
What do you think???!!!
Image by larksflem used under Creative Commons License