Thursday, November 02, 2006

Communication in the Digital Era (error)

Whenever I want to talk to my dad, I send an SMS text to inform him I will be calling at a certain time. My dad is neither a digital native nor a digital immigrant. He is just there. For this discussion, a digital native is a person who was born and brought up in the digital era. Digital immigrants are those 'people of before' who, even though they were not born in the digital era, they have 'migrated' to it. My dad was not born in the era, and he has adamantly refused to migrate. His radio 'shikas only one station', only that the station is not Capital FM, but Citizen so that he can listen to 'Wembe' and another dude I do not like (his presentations) called Mohamed Juma Njuguna.
In the era where bytes portray some power, and whoever is able to communicate using them is highly (although not any longer) regarded, I still find some digital natives who come up with every reason not to use technology to communicate. There are others who use it to communicate but inappropriately, and there those who can ONLY communicate using technology, when it comes to constructing a simple sentence in a f2f conversation they fall flat on their bellies. There are also the class of the people especially in the field of Open Source Software (where I belong) who, INMHO (In my humble opinion), use every jargon to prove that we are not compatible with the rest.
So what is the best communication in the digital era?
I believe the KISS (keeping it simple, stupid) is the best way to approach communication. Digital Communication 101 (The first course in digital communication) should train people on how to use an understandable way of communication. For instance, I receive calls from my elearning clients that "the site kicked me out". Surely, how can a site kick a person out? Is it a figure of speech that my English teacher didn't think was important? How then would you explain to such a client what is happening? Do you tell her(not to be accused of gender bias) that the site is meant to 'kick' her out if she is just idling for more than the minimum time set in it for her own security? Or do you tell him "You were actually not kicked out, your session expired"?

Digital communication 101 to continue.

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