GRE Issue Essay 180

“Instant communication systems encourage people to form hasty opinions and give quick replies rather than take the time to develop thoughtful, well-reasoned points of view.”

Instant communication systems like telephones and Internet have brought the world closer. They have made it possible to reach every corner of the world within a few seconds. They have surely helped in connecting people, surpassing all differences in terms of distance. Since they help in forming a direct contact between people, there is an instant exchange of ideas and thoughts. I agree that this system of instant contact can result in making hasty decisions since they demand an instant reaction. There is very little time to react and the response is guided by the instinct of a person. However, I am also of the view that people can make unreasonable decisions without thinking logically even if they have enough time to respond. Therefore, more than encouraging people to give quick replies, it can be said that these instant communication systems do not offer the option of amending your opinion and changing your mind.

The instant communication systems make a person react to a situation for which he is unprepared. In most cases, it is impossible to know beforehand about a call that a person is about to receive. For example, your employer might call you suddenly on a day when you are off to know certain details or explanation regarding some official work. The phone calls received by call center employees from their customers are sudden and need immediate attention. Similarly, in a one-to-one online discussion, there is a direct contact established between two people. In all these situations, it cannot be known beforehand what the nature or subject of the call/discussion would be. However, since a direct contact is established, it requires the person to answer the queries instantly. This leaves very little time to think before replying and there is no way to undo the response once given. As against this, if a person receives a letter by post, there is more reaction time and he can think and change his opinion in his reply.

I would like to add here that these responses, whether it is to a telephone call or to a handwritten letter, are led by the instincts of a person. How a person reacts in a particular situation depends upon his nature. It is possible that a person is able to give the most thoughtful reply instantly on a telephone. On the other hand, it can be so that given the time to think reasonably, the result is not logically sound. Therefore, according to me, basically it is not the fault of the instant communication systems that lead a person to make unreasonable decisions. Telephones and Internet might prompt a person to make hasty decisions, but they may not always be unreasonable. A deal which could take months of pondering and thinking might have the same result as a deal quickly executed due to these instant communication systems. Therefore, the role of these communication systems is to reduce the waste of time in the execution of the deal, rather than encouraging the parties to take illogical decisions.

To sum up I would like to reaffirm my point of view that the instant communication systems are the fastest way to get any piece of information or opinion from a distance. This could encourage a speedy reply, but it would be unfair to hold these systems completely responsible for a response that is unreasonable and not thoughtfully developed.