Communication De-Evolution?

Banana Cell Phone

Remember the days when cell phones did not exist? I remember my brother’s first cell phone and man did we feel cool for having one of those.I remember the days when I had to be at home to make a phone call, and long distance wasn’t always free. I remember my Dad teaching me DOS commands on our Tandy 1000.  I remember opening my first Yahoo! Email account and I still remember the log in and password. (It’s a total spam email address now).

We are constantly connected now with devices like iPhones and Blackberry’s. Long gone are the days of actually having to be in front of your computer to check your email or even get your instant messages. Words like 3G and DSL are relatively new in the grand scheme of things where someone is always looking for innovation – and Google is on top of it.

I read this post from TechCrunch yesterday about Google Wave bringing on the beginning of “passive-aggressive communication”. MG Siegler makes some great points about the different kinds of communication that IM and email encourage, both from an “active – respond now” with IM or an “it can wait” standpoint with email. Merging the two creates a power for the user to control how and when you receive your information and Google now has the power to set a new communication standard.

While I fully support the growth of technology and all the good things it can do, I can’t help but be worried that we’re continuing to chip away at our ability to have normal conversations with others. Sure, sometimes it’s quicker to fire off an email or send an IM, but what’s happened to the good old fashioned phone call?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Facebook and Twitter addict. I love social mediums of conversation, but I’m also a big fan of verbal communication. Being able to communicate on a one to one basis is vital to any kind of social growth, something that parents are worried about when their child isn’t able to cultivate these social abilities. Maybe I’m just sliding down the slippery slope.

Let me ask you, how often do you pick up the phone and call or turn around and speak to someone? Is Google Wave just another way that we will forever be chained to our cell phones and laptops or will we still step outside of our comfort zone and try for normal conversation?