Australians are world famous for our distinctly slang-filled vernacular.
Every Aussie instinctively understands a new associate named Barry, without a hint of irony, will soon be introduced as Baz, or Bazza.
Other incarnations include referring to everyone as ‘Mate’, often several times in a single sentence, whether we’ve known that person for a lifetime or less than the time it takes to .
But my favourite Australian-ism is the way many of my compatriots begin a thoughtful response to a question.
Words alone cannot do the noise justice, but you may recognise it as something like either;
I’m sure other nationalities and languages have similarly amusing ways to ‘think out loud’, but it’s these uniquely human
noises traits which allows us to respond with not only information, but more importantly with emotion and context. And, as many a text messaging or Twitter fan can attest, context is not something that digital does well.
In a world constructed from 1′s & 0′s, context cannot and does not exist.
When you switch on a machine it is on.
When you press send on an email, that’s it.
Contrary to popular belief, our computers are not yet capable of getting together after 5pm and sorting out all our social media faux pas, like an polite, electronic version of Toy Story.
It is up to all of us to make sense of the new digital language. Whether you’re a HTML 5 guru or a digital dinosaur, learning more about the tools you use everyday is as integral to your well being as eating well and having a healthy sex life.
Don’t believe me?
How much time do you spend in front of a screen?
And how much time do you spend doing the horizontal dance?
So unless you’re planning on a new career on a street corner, I recommend taking a few extra seconds to explain yourself better in that next email. Or even better, learn how to write some code.
Everyone knows nerds are the new sexy.
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PS. On a serious note, machines will eventually rule the world with a million silicon fists, so to learn how you can become their friend before the impending robocalypse, I suggest reading pretty much anything by Douglas Rushkoff