Maria Kyriacou- GMD
The role of communicators in society
The art of covarying information has been at the centre of every interaction; from human face to face, to virtual and the premise has stayed a constant.
In pressing times, especially as the one we are experiencing currently, the need to adapt our forms of communication is key. The shift from face to face sensory communication has now shifted to the virtual world where haptics disappears. However, even with the dismissal of these haptics we have not lost our sense of community and unity.
As designers we are trained to communicate, whether this be a theme, a feeling or even a specific word the art of conveying a message is always in mind. Some will argue this is our biggest role, it gives us our purpose within society. This purpose whether to lead to invoking change or simply to put a smile on someone face, still has a premise in which it is built on. Thus, whether we are communicating face to face or through a screen our purpose does not change but simply our platform does. Creatives have found many interesting ways to build on this form of digital communication during this pressing time. From inspiration videos, illustration and animations to building safe spaces for those who struggle with isolation, allowing them to communicate in a non-judgmental digital environment. As people begin to crave the single form of sensory communication over time building these digital communities become even more essential.
Does this burden fall on the individual or the group? Is it our job as individuals to make sure we keep these bonds through communication with those we choose to surround our self with or is it our job as a collective to check in on those around us and make sure that people are coping with this sudden adaptation of communication. Some would argue that we are predisposition to feel lonely. The causation of this loneliness could be due to the lack of commutation as our consciousness is becoming aware of its pre-existing presence. The lack of external stimulus leads the mind to focus on what it already has and less on what is going on around it, or in our case currently the lack of environment, leading to a shift in focus. Some can become fixated on this singular factor and other will be able to continue to ignore just like an average day. Thus, as loneliness is a longing for connection, how can we falsify and build virtual bonds that can last for distinct amounts of time as we do when face to face.
Philosophers like Plato, Aristotle and Socrates have discussed communication in almost every topic for its importance when in relation to other topics and self-serving. Mans need to be happy is an impulse which is entirely dependent on communication. Communication and the emotions/experiences such as: love, sadness, consequence and reflection are what makes us human.
As the abundance of online platforms makes communication almost effortless, we have seen universal example of community. For example, the clap for the NHS, was a good example of how people have interacted in solidarity online and as a community and one something that will bring joy to a stranger in a hard time. A silent form of communication which can still bring physical joy. So maybe instead to it being a question of whose role it is to build these communicative pathways, the solution could be simply communicate with the intention of spreading joy in a time where there is so much sadness.