The Delay Factor

by SilentClark on May 12, 2010

This concept first appeared in an earlier post called Trouble In Paradise when a small misunderstanding would not allow me to tweet all my responses to my wife because I could not keep up with the conversation. Trying to communicate using only social media creates a lot of dependency on technology (mobile apps loading properly, computer systems not hanging, cell signal, display issues, etc).

Good conversations have a rhythm that allows them to move at the correct speed for their occasion. When that rhythm is disrupted from outside factors it upsets the flow of the conversation itself. Everyone has been on the phone with someone in a noisy environment and the natural tendency is to lose patience. It’s not that the person is saying the wrong things, its more that the things they are saying are not being heard without some added difficulty.

This is the major hurdle of the SMX thus far. Every time I want to communicate I have to type out the message, which already takes longer than speaking it. Then I have to send it through Twitter and a lot times the server hangs and I’m stuck standing there, staring at a spinning circle on my phone. I’ve had to start showing the message before it sends, just so that I can try to keep it.

This tweet from dinner the other night shows exactly what I mean.

Can i go on the side with my……ah too late #silentclark

I was trying to get my dressing on the side, but I had to let that one go. The SMX is teaching me to let a lot of things go. Things I normally would take time to explain, I now just simply let pass. I was “talking” to someone at a birthday party last week and they were describing how a lot of what’s said is filler. As someone who pretty much talks nonstop, I totally agree. I do think that certain serious times need conversation to lighten the mood, but other times less can indeed be more; especially on road trips with my wife!

When chatting online with someone, the delay factor is totally acceptable. The person at the other end is probably bouncing back and forth from several web pages, articles, videos and perhaps even a live conversation with someone in the room and you are doing the same. I love chat, always have. I first starting using ICQ in 1998 to save money on long distance phone charges. I loved the delay factor because it gave me that extra split second to be more witty and thoughtful versus the demands of live conversation. There are plenty of friends who I only speak to on Google Chat and honestly would not be as close with them if it were not for the relaxed atmosphere of the delayed chats we have. As I type this, I see that my friend is trying to reach me so that we can go hiking today. Unlike the phone there’s no immediate rush, so I can finish my sentence and now attend to her message. (Hello Catherine)

Mobile social media has another obvious issue, while using it I am often on foot so I almost have to stop walking to type and then I not only fall behind in the conversation but also literally fall behind the group. My brain is adapting to this and now I let all the little ideas that pop into my head just float by thanks to the delay factor.

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