The proliferation of communication channels in ordinary life

Email. Tweet. Text message. FaceBook message. Gmail chat. Skype chat. Skype call.

On any given day, I can be contacted by any of these methods. Isn’t it crazy? I’m not in a unique situation; most of my peers are also reachable on most of these platforms.

I don’t know why I haven’t thought about it before, but it’s just really nuts. What happened to the days of a phone call and slow mail?

(Our 3-year son said yesterday that he was waiting for a letter in the mail, that he loved opening envelopes that came to our house from the mailman. He doesn’t fully spell and read yet, or get clicking on screen with a mouse, so he hasn’t yet been introduced to email but after he said that, I wonder when (and sadly, not if) he will lose the joy and pleasure of slow mail.)

Anyway, I wonder what happened that made us spread out over so many different communication channels. This morning I saw that the makers of WunderList, my favorite to-do-list app, has just released a new collaboration/social project management tool that looks amazing. I am honestly tempted to download WunderKit. But if I adopt it, it can potentially become one more platform or channel where I can be reached and suddenly, I’m not comfortable with that.

Is this part of working or just living, I guess, in the world today, to be available over so many different avenues?

What will it take to pare it down to just the minimum? What is that minimum?


This video by Chris Crutchfield is his “brain’s interpretation” of a moment of multiple message convergence.

Digitals from Chris Crutchfield on Vimeo.