I've been thinking this last week about how the new Web 2.0 applications and other technology have changed how we interact as individuals.
Watching the kid interact with her friends brings home the difference between how she and her friends have conversations versus how at the same age, my friends and I did. Her dad is always telling her to call her friends and go do something...but because he doesn't hear her talking, to him, it doesn't seem like they are talking.
In contrast, when I was her age, I spent countless hours on the phone with my friends talking and doing homework together. The conversations were audible. There were drawbacks, though. I could only be talking to one of my friends at a time, and if someone else tried to call, s/he was met with a busy signal. And if I wasn't at home, I couldn't call anyone (our phones were attached with cords to the wall). So, there were definite limits to how and where conversations could happen.
Now, though, watching the kid texting 3 different people on her phone all within a minute of each other, and IMing others, I can't help but wonder about how conversations have changed. She's fully engaged with whomever she's 'talking' to, and is capable of keeping the different threads straight. But I sometimes wonder about the quality of these 'short-burst' conversations. Yeah, I'm sure my parents wondered what in the world my friends and I could find to talk about for hours on end (well, duh-important things like who was going out with who, did you see what so-and-so was doing between classes, what are you wearing tomorrow...really important stuff). Who knows?
I also find it interesting that for the kid and her friends, conversations can be had whenever and wherever their phones are. They don't have to be in one specific place anymore...they aren't limited by how far their phone cord stretches. They can text way faster than I can...maybe because I spell my words out and they don't (OMG!! did u c that? lol).
Technology and Web 2.0 applications have changed how we interact as individuals. Time and space don't hold the same sway they used to, that's for sure. Conversations aren't limited by how far the cord stretches anymore, and in some respects, that's a good thing.