21st century bargaining – the loss in communication

Bargaining in the 21st century is done much the same way we do everything these days. Quickly. From seven second Vines to emails on the net rather than letters in the mail and tweets. There was a time when bargaining and negotiation was an event. There are still parts of the world where bargaining involves a full exchange of more than just money for product or service. In the case of my friend who was bargaining for a hookah in Morocco four years ago, he managed to bargain for three days. Of course he would leave and revisit periodically until he finally negotiated his price. He had tea with the merchant. He got to know him and his family as he exchanged stories. It wasn’t about the physical exchange, rather it was about establishing a relationship. Now bargaining consists of a one line email reading “will you sell it for…” “can I buy it for…”If I pay you this much will you sell it today?” That’s all the emails read. No hello. No goodbye. But of course not, because there’s no time for that. We need that time to check our Facebook notifications. We need to watch that YouTube video, albeit the two minute one not the 55 minute one because we don’t have enough time for that. The exchange has lost a lot of its value. What used to be about human communication and the exchange of ideas, stories and experiences has become simply the exchange of money for a product or service. We communicate with more people but we KNOW less people.

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