Can't I Just Use My Old Form of Communication?

There's a shift in the way we communicate...
We must embrace dialogue in various forms.

Remember "short hand" in high-school? Does anyone use that anymore?

Remember the hours spent learning cursive? I can't even remember how to form some of those letters...let alone how to connect them! Oh, and by the way, it won't be long until it's phased out of curriculum in most school systems.

And for those who've been around computers for a long time, remember BASIC? Or, COBOL?

I remember, some time back, hearing a Christian leader declare boldly that if someone needed to communicate with him, then they'd have to call (he was NOT going to text message).

I've heard of leaders who state categorically that they were not going to listen to voice mails...if someone really needs them, then they'll call back.

Finally, I recently saw a well known Christian artist notify everyone of his Facebook contacts that if they needed him, NOT to use the messaging service found in Facebook-instead, text or tweet him instead.

Which brings me to my question...
Why the resistance?
  • In the past week I've had work related correspondence via text messaging with 29 different people.
  • In the past week I've had work related correspondence via email with 12 different people (notice that email is going fact, one major university is no longer assigning email addresses to students!).
  • Since the beginning of February, I've had direct contact via Twitter with at least 5 different people.
  • In the past week I've had phone conversations with at least 15 different people.
  • Since the beginning of February, I've had work related Facebook inbox message conversations with 16 different people. 
All of these statistics indicate one thing:
We don't talk like we used to!

The phone and letters both gave way to email.

Email is giving way to text messaging, inbox messaging, tweeting and status updates (by the way, the Georgia Conference Facebook page had a total of 1424 impressions so far from status updates through February - that's 1424 people that have seen what we posted on our wall).

Perhaps you're one who's resisted the shift in communication. What can you do to begin to learn a new form of communication?
  • Get a grip - in other words, begin to learn
  • Get a mentor - in other words, don't be afraid to ask someone who's more savvy
  • Get a plan - don't try to do it all at once, start small and build confidence
It's obvious that in order to communicate more effectively, as a church, business, family member or leader, that we must be willing to embrace the form of communication that others embrace. To abstain from doing so, indicates an unwillingness to communicate - which, ultimately, indicates an unwillingness to care!

Which form of communication are you using more now than you were a year ago?


Brian Burgess said...

Great post Rick! I hope we all can keep up to date with communication styles that are in vogue. I had to get mentored on Twitter, but the results were so worth it. By the way, I was mentored by someone younger and "less experienced" in ministry than myself. Imagine if my pride had gotten in my way...

Cricket_Nelson said...

I had to laugh when I read your post! I have been forced to text so I can communicate with my teenager. That's what they do, and that's how they communicate now.

He text's from his afterschool play when he's ready for his dinner, and sends a text when he's ready to get picked up. In some ways it is more convenient than phone calls - it gets right to the point!