social media & technology

Following the Thread

by Niffer — May 2, 2011

I think it is interesting how we- as a global society- communicate information so freely and quickly by electronic medium.  Yet we seem to have lost our grasp on the art of conversation.  Information is passed, not shared.  Thoughts spoken, texted, tweeted, but not heard, read or cherished.  No one reads between the lines anymore.  If they do, they are too busy or careless to hear the hidden messages.

I remember a time, not so long ago, when I received love letters.  I was all of 15 and they were earnest but childish missives from my first boyfriend.  I would carefully craft replies… reading for questions and supplying answers, asking him questions of my own.   And so we would communicate, back and forth, more meaningful words passing between us in those letters than were ever said in person.  This is how I learned to write and respond, how to communicate with written words, how to carry on a lettered conversation.

To this day I’m infuriated by incomplete responses to email enquiries… I hate when people don’t respond to texts…

I recently joined the world of Twitter and I’m not entirely sure that it won’t leave me senseless with its complete lack of conversationality.  How is Twitter not the new talking to yourself on the subway?  It’s worse, really.  It’s ranting to the universe in cyberspace instead of to unfortunate fellow passengers.  At least there’s a chance that someone on the TTC might be nearly as nuts as you and actually rant back at you.

And yet we text, tweet, and update our status…  in the vague and often vain hope that someone, somewhere out there, hears us… understands us… will comfort us.  We hope against hope to start a conversation.

So here I find myself, blogging to the universe, trying to start a conversation.  And lest she feel that I haven’t heard her, haven’t listened or cherished her words, I would like to take a moment to reply to Kim who wrote to us from earthquake stricken Japan last week.  Even when the news stories stop, and you may feel like the whole world has turned back to its usual routine, you should know that you are not alone.

Someone, somewhere, has heard you, has cherished your words, and will pick up the thread.  Speak and you will be heard.  Start the conversation and it will grow.  We have all recently seen how words can start a revolution.

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