The communication revolution in the digital age: the good, the bad and the ugly
What do millennials really think about communications? As part of her work experience here at 44, Anya Payne addresses the impact social media has on modern living and internal communications as a millennial who knows no different…
Like it or not, social media is here to stay and will become an increasingly overwhelming part of modern life. Chances are you’re already one of supergiant Facebook’s 1.7 billion users. Or perhaps you’re a young person like me and find your life centred around Snapchat to a worrying extent. Whether you spend every waking moment on social media, or use it only to reassure yourself that you’re ‘in touch’ with the modern world, it’s impossible to deny the power it has in controlling modern day communication and the way many of us live our lives.
As a millennial myself, social media is not only there to watch fluffy cats falling over and to ‘like’ pictures of pizza that one of your 338 ‘friends’ have uploaded. It offers a way to communicate with friends, as well as connect with celebrities and organisations. We’re now able to share our thoughts and feelings at a click of a button, and create a visual profile of who we are. You can be educated within seconds. News travels faster than you can read it, and we all have the ability to ask any question and have it answered almost instantly.
However, social media is not all rosy – my list entitled ‘What I hate about social media’ is a long one. A negative that quite honestly screams in my face is the rise of Instagram and Snapchat stories. Here we display a ‘story’ that accounts for a perfect 10 seconds of our day… so what about the other 11 hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds? Are we and our lives really as exciting as our social media stories and profiles suggest? Probably not.
And then there’s the selfie. Modern-day social gatherings now largely consist of fake smiling as people force you into phony formations in order to show off their perfect lives.
The thing is, selfies only show the good. When the camera’s off, our lives are monotonous as everyone else’s. Despite this awareness, I still find myself sucked into it all ─ with the sad reality being that I too upload cringe-worthy selfies.
Whether you’re obsessed with social media or see it as nothing but an abhorrent intrusion, there’s no denying its power to allow people, consumers and businesses to communicate easily, quickly and effectively.
With 3.2 billion internet users having an average of 5.5 social media accounts per person, companies are realising that millennials no longer engage with formal and dry communication. They listen to conversations that speak to them.
With 60 billion messages sent in Facebook and WhatsApp chats each day, communication between people and within businesses is gradually evolving to meet modern technological ways of connecting, with the negatives and positives of this becoming clearer each day.
Communication is ever changing. Who knows when social media will become outdated for my generation… or perhaps we’ll shamefully be pouting and posing in front of cameras well into our 80s…