Monday, November 15, 2010

Another Communication Revolution? Monday Journal #2

Facebook is launching a new messaging system that will integrate
e-mail, instant messaging and live chat, and will, according to founder Mark Zuckerberg, replace e-mail.

Apparently, e-mail is too slow.  I fear that blogging is the new pony express.

The new system is supposed to integrate several types of on-line communication, so that users have a choice as to how they will receive and respond to text- and web-based messages.

It is daunting.  I had mastered the telephone call, and its sidekick the witty voice mail message.  Fax was meant to save postal time in business transactions.  Then e-mail came along to replace it all, and became an unobtrusive but comprehensive way to stay in touch with scores of people; you could even send pictures! 

Now, in order to be sure that I have covered all my bases in attempting to connect with people, I must send emails, facebook messages, texts, live chats, tweets, web-log comments, and linked-in messages.  Letters in US mail are no longer.  Even phone calls are fewer and further between.

One quote, found today in several on-line publications like Sify, unintentionally betrayed users' impatience with the cumbersome nature of so many types of communication choices now available:

"....Zuckerberg said: 'It's true people are going to be able to have email addresses but this is not email. Email is one way people are going to use this system, but we don't even think it's going to be primary way that people use this system. He said that he did not think there would be an overnight e-mail exodus but that young people have 'suddenly shifted towards real-time communications' and he had to respond...."

Real-time communications was once known as the telephone.  Is that where we're headed?  Has the pendulum has swung the other way?

Perhaps if something is reinvented often enough, it cycles back to its original form? 

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