Meaningless digital notes

Are words meaningless when they are digital? Words without meaning & the reality of networked communication:

For instance, today is the birthday of one of my dear friends and I sent her an email and followed up with a text message exchange. Another friend in India, got a Skype call. To others I sit down and write a note, expressing my gratitude for their presence in my life, or even buying me a cup of coffee.

Earlier this week was my nephew’s birthday, and I woke up the kid while I was in Portugal to wish him. We didn’t exchange more than ten words, but through his grogginess I know he knows that I know how important he is to me. Facebook messages where you utter “happy birthday, xyz” is a pretty strong signal of one’s (lack of real) social bond. If someone is special we tend to write them a personalized note.

I suppose a hand-written note would be more meaningful because it is, well, hand-written and physically delivered. A quick message, email or post on Facebook could be seen as being too casual to have much meaning but I believe people who receive digital notes from me are secretly grateful that they aren’t handwritten because they’re at least intelligible.

(Via Om Malik)

Paul
Enthusiast, marketing strategist, writer, and photographer. Passionate about my wife, Gina and #proudDad. Allergic to stupid

What do you think?

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