Some form of social media can be found throughout history, dating back to the drawings on caves. So, the theory goes, when we are focused on (obsessed by?) sharing everything about our lives on social media, we are simply doing what humans are wired to do.
Tom Standage, in his book Writing on the Wall, says that “Humans are, in short, built to form networks with others and to exchange information with them.” Key word there is “exchange,” but we’ll come back to that.
Standage adds that the internet “is by no means the first technology to have supported such a social-media environment; it is merely the most recent and most efficient way that humans have found to scratch a prehistoric itch.”
That itch, of course, is the need to share.
Do we now share too much, given the instant accessibility of social media messages and texts?
Would our prehistoric ancestors have drawn images of every piece of meat they slaughtered and brought home to their families? Would the Roman centurions who depended on handwritten letters to distribute their messages have used them to spread celebrity gossip?
Sharing information is necessary for a business person to engage with customers and other business people. The key, again, is that exchange of information. Listening (reading) is just as important as talking (writing).
We too often forget this and just focus on the sending out. Receiving is actually as important as giving when it comes to communication!
Sharing is caring. Listening (reading) with attention and intent is caring more! Humans need it all.
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