Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A thought from last week's class...

Late. I have the convenient excuse this week of a dead computer.

During last week's discussion of how the increased communication formats have changed the way we live our lives, I kept thinking back on a phone interview I'd had the previous afternoon.

First of all, there's the fact of the phone interview itself - I'm graduating in a week in a half, and all of my interviews thus far have taken place over the phone. I have an in-person interview later this week that only comes after four, yes, four telephone interviews. I think this is a fairly recent change in the use of telephone technology; it certainly wasn't the case three years ago when I graduated from undergrad.

Second, there was something about this phone interview that resonated in particular with our discussion: the interviewer asked me how I would communicate with my clients in the other, geographically disparate offices, and using the telephone didn't even cross my mind. Email, I said, is usefully for articulating initial requests and responses, and instant messenger is great when you need real time response. The interviewer agreed with me, and then he said something I find really interesting in the context of our discussion; he said that he uses IM all the time, even to contact colleagues down the hall.

It seems to me that we tend to discard old technologies when we adopt new ones, and that we tend to replace in-person interaction with interaction over a number of electronic means. Which leads right into what interested me in this week's readings...a running theme within both articles was the increasing popularity of remote communication as opposed to in-person, physical communication. I have to wonder if as a society we will eventually rebel against this trend.

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