Applying digital culture to every digital communication makes organisations better at what they do. But easier said than done. Because implementing a digital culture within organisations is not something you can do overnight.
Hundreds of years ago, human communication was limited to sending messages via pigeons or ponies. The process of spreading news and information is prolonged. President William Henry died on April 4, 1841, of pneumonia. Then The Richmond Enquirer published his death report on April 6, 1841. The sad information only arrived two days after. Even the standard North Carolina newspaper published it ten days later.
Then, Telegraph Electric popped up and allowed people to send messages in Morse code. After the telephone came up so that long-distance conversations occurred, it was only in the early 1980s that the internet emerged and has become a part of life today.
How did the internet significantly impact in such a short amount of time?
Let's step back and look at the entire pre-Internet timeline. So we get that technology is fueling the exponential acceleration of media development. Humans like to try to follow trends and do many things with the internet. As a result, they become addicted and overloaded.
Suddenly we realise we need culture. Digital culture is not just a bunch of bullshit in companies and the internet. It's more than information dissemination but tradition and values.
What is Digital Communication?
Digital communication is all types of communication that rely on technology. There are many types of digital communication based on channels, such as emails, phone calls, video conferencing, sms, podcasts and blogs.
What is the difference between digital communication and traditional communication? The following five characteristics determine Lumen Learning:
- Digital communication is more interactive
- More participatory
- More decentralised
- More egalitarian
- Less hierarchical
Digital Communication in the workplace
Digital communication in the workplace is fast, convenient and efficient. Remote workers are familiar with digital communication because they do it daily. Employees can communicate in real time with clients or colleagues worldwide without leaving the table. Managers can use digital channels to provide announcements to all employees, including gathering feedback. We call it employee engagement.
Modern marketing or digital marketing almost all utilises digital communication. For example, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), advertising on social media, etc., is one of the ways companies communicate with customers. It's fast, convenient and efficient. Through an easily accessible communication system, employees can use their time to focus on their duties.
What is Digital Culture?
Digital culture includes how technology shapes the way people interact. Culture also has practices, values, and beliefs that emerge with technology adoption. This technology includes embedded computers, smartphones, software, etc., in our lives.
Digital culture is characterised by the constant availability of information, rapid adaptability, collaboration and transparency. Many experts say digital culture is a way to survive in a competitive market.
Digital Culture in the Workplace
Company culture means a set of values and behaviours to define operational functions. Digital culture focuses on customers and operations that use technology. Then what is the impact on the company?
- Work gets done faster when there is a digital culture. For example, employees don't need to go out of town just for meetings and can use video conferencing. When meetings finish quicker, the decision-making process goes quicker.
- Digital culture attracts new talent to companies. Millennials and Gen Z have lost interest in 9-5. Companies that implement digital culture promote a collaborative and autonomous workplace. Usually, organisations use remote or hybrid work systems.
- Faster adaptation because it is customer-centric. Customer needs change frequently, but companies can adjust quickly. Leaders and managers can set new priorities to win the market.
Digital Culture and Digital Communication
The relationship between digital culture and digital communication is complex. If you look at it from a positive perspective, both change how humans interact and communicate. Dissemination of information becomes faster because of a blog or website, and people can access it via a computer or smartphone. They can access almost all information by hand.
1. Social Media
The emergence of social media is a new form of connecting with others. We can communicate with colleagues without being limited by location. This has both positive and negative consequences. We find it easier to maintain relationships with distant colleagues but also reduce face-to-face communication.
2. Virtual Space
On the one hand, digital communication also provides a new view of humans seeing culture. Internet platforms have led to virtual spaces to discuss and celebrate common interests. Indirectly, the concept of virtual space is brought into the real world to become a huddle room.
3. Digital Marketing
Another form of relationship between digital culture and communication is digital marketing. Marketing through websites and social media platforms is the best way to share thoughts with your audience. Companies don't need to create content using manual drawing tools; they can use design software. Then to disseminate information, they can use websites or social media.
Sharing does not only have its good sides, but when done in excess, it can lead to oversharing. Unerstood.org said oversharing is saying something personal or inappropriate to the wrong person. It causes anxiety, attention seeking and addiction. The potential consequences of oversharing are cyberbullying and victimisation.
In the past, face-to-face communication was the only way to have discussions. Now with smartphones, project management tools and computers, the discussion process shifted to the digital world.
Now comes the negative impact of digital culture and communication; phubbing. Phubung is known for ignoring people for smartphones. In almost all situations, everyone phubs; at meetings, cafes, and lunch. They surf websites and check social media. Even in the company, a boss can be phubbing to their employees and ends up losing the employee's trust in their superiors.
Phubbing can cause a person to feel isolated, demotivated and threatened self-esteem. Even worse, managers who were phubbing employees made them do the same.
Digital culture and digital communication have a complicated relationship. Humans and companies can feel a significant impact on both. Simply put, digital communication is the medium, while digital culture is the tool. If it is wrong to use, negative impacts can arise and affect humans. As technology evolves, it is essential to consider how it shapes communication and culture. We must take careful steps to protect what we have while experiencing a digital transformation.