The way how we communicate massively influences what we think, feel and do. In this context it is very important to understand the two concepts of communication: synchronous and asynchronous.
Basically both are around for a very long time, but I’d say that of course synchronous was there first and asynchronous came in later. Not sure what the first asynchronous channel was, maybe cave painting?
The difference between synchronous and asynchronous
Just to explain upfront, synchron means that you communicate with someone in real time and the other person can react imediately to it and (usually) it is also expected to get an immediate reaction. So if you talk to someone in person you would usually expect this person to react upon what you have been saying – must not necessarily be a verbal response, but any kind of other reaction that you can perceive.
In contrast asynchronous communication is something where you start the communication, the receiver can digest it at any time and then respond or even do not respond at all. Based on this our expectation for a response is probably lower compared to synchronous communication.
The big question is which way of comms to use for what
It’s obvious that if it is about sharing information only asynchronous is the perfect match. Also if there is no immediate answer required this way of communication is probably a good choice. In any case I am under the impression that human beings often do not really think about how to use these both models consciously. In contrast, my hypothesis is that asynchronous is winning over synchronous and this is not purpose driven. I think it has more to do with the fact that it is more convenient. I would love to have data on how much comms is done using both ways and how it has evolved since stone age. I have suspicion though. The big question then is also “how far will this go?” Will we be unable at certain point in time to do synchronous comms and always go asynchronous (even with short answer intervalls).
Each of them has it’s own quality
I would also say that the quality of both channels differ heavily. Communicating synchronously stands for authenticity, spontaneity, creativity, flow, while asynchronous is more planned, well thought through, can be more easily manipulating but can be also very deep. But I feel overall that synchronous comes more from the heart and stomach, while asynchronous is rather coming from our brain.
In our world everything which is rare or is becoming rare is more valuable / expensive – is this true for synchronous communication as well?
What do you think? Any thoughts welcome.