Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New ways of communicating

This morning I saw a news story that caught my eye. Canada is 150 years old this year and they are issuing stamps to commemorate significant events in the life of our country. One of the stamps, a stamp celebrating that marriage equality was established nationwide in 2005, caught my eye. I decided I wanted such a stamp.  So I asked on Facebook if any of my Canadian friends could send me such a stamps. Within an hour, three friends had responded. I have wonderful friends. I had issued a request and within an hour I had several responses.  It was all that quick.

We live in an age of instant communication. Yesterday I was able to watch the tv feed from a local station in Vancouver BC as the provincial election results were coming in. Here was I, half a world a way, and I was seeing reporters in Vancouver and Victoria. This blog has many regular readers that I know from around the globe, but also reaches out regularly to strangers in places like France, Germany and Brazil.  All this would not have been possible 25 years ago.

This instant communication is great on one hand. If I feel overly passionate about a subject, I can speak out about it. It gives me a platform to speak my mind. My friends, many who share my views, are able to know where I stand. They can comment or add to the discussion at hand. But sometimes strangers read my posts as well and they do not agree where I stand. Hopefully though if the dialogue remains respectfully, we will all learn something new about the topic.

But instant communication has its drawbacks. People sometimes post things which cause them grief later. Employees have been fired when the boss discovers what the employees were up to when they were supposed to be ill. Marriages have broken up when someone is caught sexting. President Trump's tweets may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but they take on a life of their own later. Instant communication is like smoke in a bottle. It is easy to release, but hard to put it back in the bottle after its been released.

It has never been easier to communicate with others than it is now. Facebook, twitter, instagram, and WhatsApp were not known at the turn of the century. Yet it is hard to imagine life without them. But we always have to be concerned about who is listening. How is our message being received? Who might the message upset? Yes we have a platform to share our message. But we must always tread carefully because when we share our stories with others, we are always treading on sacred ground. Blessings.

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