New media vs old media

Just because a “more advanced” communication technology comes out, doesn’t mean we should always use it. What often ends up happening instead is that it takes is place beside existing technologies.

One obvious example is theater and cinema. I love movies, but I still go to the theater. Another is books. Ebooks and on-line documents are incredibly convenient, but there is still nothing like curling up with an old fashioned book made of paper and ink.

I think something similar is going to happen with the spectrum between writing letters, writing emails, video chats, and whatever will be coming after Zoom. In another ten years we are going to be able to “beam into” each other’s physical space. It will feel less like video chat and more like the Jedi Council.

But there will be many occasions when people will choose not to use the latest and greatest form of immersive interaction. Depending on who you are meeting with and why, you might decide instead to opt for a video chat.

Or you might just get on a phone call or send an email. Or, if you want to say something important to somebody you really care about, you could choose to sit down, pick up a pen and write an old fashioned letter.

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