Have we lost all sense of communication?

The Way We Communicate Is Changing, But Not Always in The Ways We Think

What is communication? Essentially, it’s the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. There’s no doubt though that over time, the way we communicate has changed. Whereas once our communication options were limited to talking face-to-face, sending a letter or talking on the telephone, we now have many more options.

75% of millennials prefer text to voice and face-to-face.

We now live in a world of laptops, smartphones and tablets, all of which have a wide variety of apps and software that allow us to communicate on the move with anyone, wherever they are in the world, in full colour, HD video if we wish. Interestingly however, millennials, who you would think would prefer the latest tech when it comes to communication would much rather talk to someone over text (SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp etc) rather than over the telephone or a voice call. Research by Open Market suggests 75% of millennials much prefer this less personal text style communication. Is this down to laziness or is it just the fact that more and more people would rather avoid direct communication with other humans? The popularity of the self-service aisles in supermarkets may suggest it’s the latter! I myself personally prefer to pick up the phone and have a conversation the good old-fashioned way!

Cropped shot of unrecognizable businesspeople using their wireless devices in the office

The return of letters?

One thing that must be true is that the humble physical letter will die a death in the face of the plethora of digital ways to communicate. Actually, the reverse may be true, especially in the UK and Europe, where we may soon see a resurgence of physical mail. Letters sent via the Royal Mail decreased from 12.2 billion in 2015 to 11.8 billion in 2016 thanks to various factors, the main one being the use of email. But this trend might now reverse thanks to the forthcoming European Union General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which will see much more stringent laws be enforced regarding emailing, especially marketing emails.

“Don’t forget the power of unaddressed mail as a way to contact people without needing their personal details” says a Royal Mail leaflet, urging businesses to use this as a way to market their services.

An ICO (they oversee GDPR in the UK) spokesperson said: ‘If an organisation is sending mail or leaflets to every address in an area and does not know the identity of the people at those addresses, it is not processing personal data for direct marketing, and the GDPR rules will not apply.”

If you’re in the UK or any other EU country, you may find yourself will a lot more mail after May 25th when GDPR comes in!

Sandy Khara

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