How asynchronous technology is powering the communication of the future

Human interaction is necessary, healthy and part of why we’ve been able to thrive. However, the coronavirus pandemic has put human interconnectedness to the test, especially when it comes to being physically present with one another. This leads us to believe that while the capability of technology increases, so does our dependency on it.

Technology has become a game-changer, especially during this period of crisis, in which companies and schools have been compelled to embrace remote means of communication and working styles.  Now, and always, technology can provide us with two types of interaction: synchronous and asynchronous communication. What’s the difference, and how can we use them?

When do we use synchronous communication?

Synchronous communication refers to real-time communication between two or more people simultaneously. Telephone calls, instant messaging, video calls, and video conferencing all require an immediate interaction of people in real-time, and this can be meaningful.

We all have been part of synchronous communication through technology, and we can admit that getting an immediate response, instant feedback or even a smile while talking can be emotionally rewarding. At the same time, it is not difficult to identify the limitations of this mode of communication: when the scale of usage becomes international, and being online at the same time with working partners may not be the most convenient solution.

And herein come the benefits of asynchronous communication:

The rise of asynchronous communication through technology

Asynchronous communication is a data transmission technique that allows the sender to transmit data irrespective of the receiver’s availability. In simple terms: you can send a message, and the recipient can view it at their own convenience.  Synchronization is not a prerequisite and there are absolutely no time-zones. Most of us in different workplaces, companies, universities, and classrooms use asynchronous technology by simply e-mailing, slack messaging, or texting one another. 

The importance of this asynchronous technology becomes clear to us when we realize how we can extend in-company or in-classroom communication far beyond the limited time of a lecture, meeting, or conversation. It’s true that asynchronous technology may also play an interruptive role in our life if we don’t set boundaries. However, it can also feel incredibly human – think about the stress relief we feel when we see a video message from someone we respect or love, like having a face-to-face discussion, asynchronously.

100mentors is face-to-face asynchronous communication

At 100mentors, our mission is to help mentees ask wonderment questions, and give the opportunity to mentors to share their thoughts in 100-second byte-sized videos: this happens asynchronously. But what are the benefits to this communication for you, as a mentor?

  1. Asynchronous technology offers the chance to think proactively, rather than reactively, to something. While using the 100mentors mobile app as a mentor, you see questions at your own pace and can answer when you feel you can contribute your thoughts meaningfully. 
  2. You can also decide when you want to log in – Your feed will always have questions and you can choose the time to share your thoughts.
  3. When you reply to student questions, you record your own answers – so the byte-sized content you produce is yours to keep, while having an eye on the indirect learners that consume your content, including their classmates, or 100mentors learners around the world.
  4. You can communicate effectively with remote students or excluded areas (especially in a period of time like this one, where many students feel isolated) in any time zone, and in a very personal tone, since most of the time, you’ll have “met” the student through their recorded video question on our platform. 

In a nutshell, on 100mentors asynchronous video communication allows you to accommodate your busy life, and always keep the discussion inspiring.

100mentors in a remote-working and distance-learning world

The value of digital tools that offer communication means in a remote-working and distance learning world is quite clear.  Whether during the pandemic we’re currently experiencing, or a generally digital-oriented world (in terms of education or work), 100mentors’ use alongside other useful digital tools can be quite powerful. This is not only because of the general advantages of asynchronous communication but also because of the personalization of our platform.

Imagine the chance to experience the emotional bonds of technology in an asynchronous environment, while most would say that this is a unique characteristic of synchronous technology. Being connected with students or employees, by acting as mentors with byte-sized videos can expand your horizons across time-zones and keep minds open (even, one day, when schools are not closed anymore!).

Both synchronous and asynchronous communication have their place in our lives.  With both ways people remain connected, can exchange opinions, broaden horizons, do some remote brainstorming, or even mentoring. The digital communication revolution integrated into our lives long ago, and today we are kind of obliged to make the most of it. When a junior employee accomplishes their work tasks remotely, and a student is not able to attend their classrooms, mentoring asynchronously can itself be the answer to their potential questions, especially at this exceptionally difficult and unusual time for our world. 

Yannis Kourtis is the Mentor Experience Associate at 100mentors. He holds an MA in International Relations and Strategic Studies and has worked as a youth trainer, helping young people to develop life skills beyond the classroom. Yannis is passionate about empowering professionals and academics to leave their legacy by connecting with students worldwide.

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