Last night I had an interesting experience. I was sitting in a room with 5 other women, and many of us were talking while working and/or scrapbooking or just being in the same room. But starting around 8pm until the wee hours of the night (3:30 a.m.!), I was also instant messaging someone actually in that room – the whole time. It was like carrying on a conversation that should have been off elsewhere…but it didn’t have to be – because it was off elsewhere – in facebook to be exact.
In light of the fact that woman cannot actually multi-task (some male scientist claims this), is this a good practice? I’m not sure if the conversation would have ever even started outside of the IM environment. I’m convinced that it would not have taken the hamster wheel effect of coming back around and around to same topics. I’m also convinced that what was written was more like what the two of really thought about the topics than would have ever been spoken.
I am someone who enjoys to write out her thoughts – I know, that is a surprise to those reading A BLOG!!!!!!!!! But really, I enjoy writing more than I like talking sometimes. I have thoughts, my mind races, and I can grab some of the thoughts and type them, edit them, edit them again, and then send them. This is nice because when speaking, I rarely have a filter. I think of things later that I wish that I had not said, and I think of things that I wish that I had said. But when I type them, I can apply the filter as well as keep talking (typing) while the other person is also typing.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that this should replace all forms of conversation. Being able to engage in conversation and dialogue is by far something that humans must maintain. It is an integral skill as well as important in the communication process. So much is lost in the written only form of communication. This is obvious in the plethora of emoticons that have emerged. However, as I fell asleep last night (approaching 4 a.m.), I was in awe at the event itself. I left knowing someone better and feeling like I had shared parts of me that would not have been spoken as clearly.