I need to talk about something people do not realize. Facebook is not the ultimate communication.
“But it is Facebook, people place a lot of reliance on it.” Can I say something? DON’T!
So many of us use Facebook, we often ask “what did we do before?” As someone who uses Facebook for both personal, ministry related and business, I think on some levels I am qualified to speak about some discoveries. (Plus being on the internet since 1995. Yes, there was an internet, not invented by Al Gore!)This is the most fundamental and immutable law of human relations.
The sender of the message is always responsible for whether or not it is received.
The entire point of communication is to get the message delivered. If I write and no one reads it, I haven’t communicated.
I agree Facebook has certainly changed the complexion of the internet. No longer do we see it as a seedy place, devoid of emotions and on some levels the “final frontier.” (At least for this year.) We see every age group participating on some level. Most no longer think about what information is even out there. (I would submit…TMI. Too Much Information.)
But here is a bigger problem, at least for me (And others I have spoken to). With nearly 1,000 friends, information is quickly “disappearing.” What this means is that your post of last night might not be seen, getting caught up in the deluge of posts. It is not unusual for me to wake up to 25 posts showing. Because I am “compulsive” on some levels, I will open them on new pages. But, when I do not have the time, some of those shaded “evaporate” never to be seen. Important information is passed over by mistake.
Enter my next “problem.” The “private” message feature. At any given point I might have 5-10 private messages. I read them. Some of them require thought. Some of them nothing. Some of them a quick answer. AGAIN…the issue for me is getting back to things. Sometimes I can have 10-20 or 30 messages above the one I needed to get back to.
For the holidays, my wife (And I initially.) thought Facebook “message” would be a good way to coordinate. What I found as the list of foods, who was coming, etc., expanded, I lost track of what was going on. What happens if one one of our children is not near wireless? Facebook was never meant to be your personal calendar. Develop a good calendar program you can use. My wife and I are going to come up with an alternative that is not Facebook. (Most likely email or a website program I CONTROL, with tasks, etc., listed and printable.) What would you do if suddenly you lost Facebook? Would you have people’s information?
(In full disclosure, texts can be the same way for me. Too many and things get forgotten.)
For all the communication devices we have, we are by every measure less skilled at the art of communication than our grandfathers.
We have reverted to monosyllabic grunts. “Yo! Yo! Whassup?” (I am known on the opposite end of the spectrum…an over communicator.)
Soon, we’ll never be out of cell phone bars but we won’t know how to say anything. Our writing seems to be devolving into a hybrid of primitive cave scratching and Gregg shorthand.
Most of us take for granted that we are good communicators. But, without proper focus, and some actual study of the skills necessary to foster effective communication, there is always the possibility for miscommunication.
Phone calls actually often work the best for me. I can take notes. If it is really important I recommend an email(At least for me.) AND a phone call. Make sure you have a response from me!
My point in all of this is relying on Facebook to communicate important things like birthdays, or gatherings is not where “I live” and I imagine it is the same for many others.
“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach.” –Strother Martin, as the warden in the movie Cool Hand Luke