Six years ago, we sent out our first newsletter with greetings, cultural titbits and DEI insights, hoping the monthly content would help readers forge and build cross-cultural friendships. Today, this newsletter is the 73rd. Many of you have sent us encouraging words. Some we have not met in person, but each time, your cheers put smiles on our faces.
After we wrote about ChatGPT (GPT-4) this April, we began to think: Should we continue with our monthly newsletters? After much deliberation, we decided to pause before the next step for two reasons:
(1) With AI like GPT-4, there are many more (humans and bots) who can and will take up writing. Undoubtedly, it will augment the emails we receive exponentially. Did you notice an increase in emails sent to your inbox recently? Whether mass-market sales pitches or legitimate informative content, the quantity has increased multi-fold.
(2) If you have not heard of “Techno Distraction”, I am sure you have experienced it. IBM developed an in-house email system for its knowledge workers and implemented it in the 1980s to better communication and increase productivity at its workplace. Today, Spam/Junk mailboxes are part of the email features because there are too many unwanted emails. The same technology has evolved to allow anyone to reach everyone, and over-communication has a side effect resulting in a loss in productivity.
Many Social Media platforms and feature creators have business models based on clicks to generate revenues. The algorithms and tools of these platforms are, therefore, attention-engineered. Think about it: twenty years ago, did we have to check our emails and messages constantly? With smartphones and tablets, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter(X), TikTok, etc, we are constantly bombarded with digital content because they are “pushed” to us for our attention. Today, we have just realised these technological advancements come with lifestyle shifts that negatively impact our well-being. Anxiety, stress, detachment from personal connection, etc., are some side effects of a hyperactive hive-mind society. Check out “A World Without Email” by Cal Newport if you wish to know more about the research.
We have decided to disconnect from this digital blitz. Although we are unsure if we can find a better way to continue to build meaningful connections with you, we shall try.
Meanwhile, we take the opportunity to thank everyone who has journeyed with us with our monthly 8:00 a.m. “email greetings” ritual. For those who have followed us since the beginning, you would have received most of the festival titbits and DEI insights. If you wish to retrieve the past Nov’s greetings articles, here are the links:
- Nov 2022: https://transculturalgroup.
- Nov 2021: https://transculturalgroup.
- Nov 2020: https://transculturalgroup.
- Nov 2019: https://transculturalgroup.
- Nov 2018: https://transculturalgroup.
- Nov 2017: https://transculturalgroup.
Referring and cheers to our first newsletter (Nov 2017): “As many as there are differences between us, there are as many similarities I share with you!”