“Immediacy”, is it too quick?

I will be brief. In fact, some studies suggest that most will read only the first four lines of text of this post before moving on. So I may only have “two more lines of your time”. What we are dealing with is “Immediacy” – a relatively new use for a term that has generally meant (are you still with me?):  to occur or accomplish without delay; in an instant.

What those using the term are attempting to express is that we are living in a communications milieu counted in seconds and sound bites and 140 character maximum communications called “tweets”. This genre of communications is becoming more and more prevalent and more and more the norm.  I have previously addressed a somewhat related issue, see: https://communicatorsandcommunications.com/2009/04/10/quick-takes-social-network-fatigue/

Whether the consequences of “Immediacy” are  positive or negative depends upon a number of factors. If the purpose is finding a specific answer to a specific question then certainly there is merit in accelerating the process. But when the “short-cut approach” becomes the one and only recognized approach much can be lost such as clarity,  thinking things through, reflection; decision making on the basis of a “quick pick” is quite different than decision making based on more deliberate consideration of any given matter. There is a concern that those engaged  primarily with media and messages configured to satisfy “Immediacy” will have capacity to concentrate and stay on task only in short bursts. There is no stopping and smelling the roses  in an immediacy mediated world. So we gain some things, we lose some things; the trick may be  in learning to control rather than be controlled by the technology that makes this all possible.

We certainly need to be conscious of the potential impact of “Immediacy” on the interaction between communicator and  audience. Latest studies indicate a trend of less and less “time spent” on news websites. While “time spent” may not be the optimal index regarding “engagement” with a website, this trend tends to support a probable consequence of a culture focused on “Immediacy”. For further reading on the subject check out The Culture of Speed: The Coming of Immediacy by John Tomlinson, Professor of Cultural Sociology at Nottingham Trent University. It’s only 192 pages.

https://communicatorsandcommunications.com/2009/04/29/immediacy-is-it-too-quick/

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