Radio discipline in the 21st century


In the army, I was trained to operate radio sets. Those sets were generally capable of only simplex transmission, meaning that only one party was able to transmit at a time (otherwise, the competing sets would risk drowning each other out). Out of necessity, we learned a certain protocol we were supposed to abide by when dealing with operational radio communication.

Today, in the civilian context, one of my pet peeves is the messiness of group chats in instant messaging (e.g. WhatsApp). With the proliferation of smartphones in recent years, instant messaging has become possibly the most common form of group interaction (at least, for me), and when you don’t frequently check your phone, it’s easy for unread messages to pile up. While instant messaging serves as a great platform for mass synchronous communication, it’s a pretty crappy mode for asynchronous communication, since these inattentive users tend to become overwhelmed with dozens (even hundreds) of unread messages.

I won’t go into too much detail here, but in both work-related and private chat groups, I’ve seen many people using IM group chats in ways that it is not intrinsically optimised for – this really annoys me! When people send long messages that are better digested via email, or random links that are better disseminated via social media, it really bugs me that these individuals think nothing of pushing out messages directly into others’ personal devices so indiscriminately.

Is this strange? Am I being overly opinionated on this issue?


Posted on November 13, 2015, in Ponderings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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