Posts Tagged ‘true communication’

Facebook and the illusion of communication

November 24, 2011

Facebook is just a tool for transmission of information. But it gives imprecise direction and indiscriminate dissemination of information packages which can only – at best – be part of a true communication process. Unfortunately the ease of the use of the tool creates the illusion of communication.

I have just deactivated my Facebook account and hopefully it will all be deleted in a couple of weeks (though judging from the number of Facebook “notifications” the deactivation has generated, I have no great faith that Facebook will actually delete all details of my account). I deactivated my Spotify account a little while ago.

I have not been a fluent user of Facebook but I have not been dependent upon it or felt that it was essential for my communications – even if some might argue that I could have communicated much more if I had used the medium better.  But that is mistaking the medium of information transfer for communication. It is just another medium – and a rather indiscriminate one – for transmitting a communique. It is not even a message (even if the use of the medium carries a part of a vague message) and it is not communication in itself. The weakness of facebook (and of faxes and mobile telephony and emails and every development of communication tools) is that the ease of use of the new tool always creates an illusion of communication. It actually provides for just one step in the eight distinct steps that are needed in a complete process for a true communication.

I would suggest that Facebook has actually decreased the quality of true communication while vastly increasing the indiscriminate dissemination of badly formulated information packages. Perhaps it is useful when discernment and thought and direction of a message is not necessary. As for example in arousing a mob. But I am doubtful if it is the best medium available for communication between two individuals.

Every true communication necessarily contains the following steps:


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