I am a major proponent of using social media in learning, education and training.

I dedicate a good deal of professional and personal energy explaining how organizations improve knowledge flows, how social media becomes a means for collective intelligence and how individuals and groups can improve performance, collaborate and innovate as knowledge and speed increase.

Text is vital to this communication evolution.

Many of my friends and I spend a good deal of time in front of our computers and on our phones building relationships and collaborations, maintaining more and more friendships through the distance. Still, when good friends online get together, we often look like this:

Why do we text, even when we’re together in the same shared space?

I was reminded by my good friend (and grumpy old man), Scott, of simulation and simulacrum.

sim⋅u⋅la⋅tion - noun the act of imitating the behavior of some 
situation or some process by means of something
suitably analogous (especially for the purpose of
study or personnel training)
sim⋅u⋅la⋅crum - noun an insubstantial or 
vague semblance; a representation of
a person (especially in the form of sculpture);
plural: simulacra

Twenty years ago if you wanted to talk to someone in anything close to real time you used your phone to actually talk to someone. No caller ID existed. We simply picked up the phone if it rang. Now we can abstract and filter the person on the other end of a message; using a phone to send text messages asynchronously. Each individual in each exchange decides when and how they will communicate and even respond (or if they will respond at all).

All this simulacra and simulation of face-to-face communication is resulting in interesting *side-effects.

I think the reason why we hit our mobile devices even when we’re together face-to-face is because we’re becoming hardwired to exchange that way.

* watch for more posts on this very topic where I’ll expand on what side-effects I see and what they might mean.

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