Is Digital Making Us Clumsy?
How would we cope without the ‘undo’ key on our computers and laptops, it’s a reassuring quick fix! I’m not sure how successful my Photoshop and Illustrator work would be without ctrl+z (that’s cmd+z to Mac users). However, with the release of the ‘Unsend Button’ on Google, it made me think whether this new evolving technology is making us clumsier with a more laissez-faire approach to work. Does the tightrope walker without a safety net fall less often?
My point is, if you include the option to delete or edit your work, there’s a danger you could fall into a comfort zone of lower standards. “I don’t need to think about what I’m writing right now, I’ll come back and improve it later”.
Google isn’t the only platform making life easier for us; Facebook introduced the edit button for comments in 2012. We can all relate, perhaps after inadvertently posting inappropriate content for public consumption. Facebook cut a corner in the user journey (by allowing the user to edit the post rather than deleting it completely). Does one’s ability to edit content encourage the posting of less appropriate material, because we’re safe in the knowledge the post is editable or can be removed?
Can you remember the last time you had to spell a complicated word, or type every letter of a word? Spell check and now autocorrect have definitely made us lazier when it comes to writing messages and using search engines. When I text someone now, I second-guess where I think the letters should be on my phone which then works it out for me. Genius! But also dangerous?
But with all these automated tools to make life easier, there’s no reason why you can’t still be as meticulous and comprehensive as you want to be. There’s nothing preventing you from thoroughly checking your work and thinking carefully about grammar, spelling and also public perception. But it’s so easy for us to fall into careless habits because of the tools that are now available to us.
In a world where time is more important than ever, we may be rushing into creating content but with poor ‘quality control’ so that we can get ahead of the race. The strangest events can spark trends – here today, gone tomorrow – and many brands find it important to be at the leading edge of these social whirlwinds. Perhaps the pressure of getting relevant content out into the world results in hasty and sometimes poor decisions.
Have social media platforms provided an ‘undo’ to save us from embarrassment or wrong doing? It’s important to remember that nothing on the internet is ever *truly* deleted, and on some sites like Facebook all edited versions of posts are saved too. You can edit your posts as often as you like but once it’s out there, it’s out there.
Digital Account Executive