Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Boon of the New Communications Technology

I'm considering Facebook or Twitter. The boon of communications technology to oppressed people who have cell phones has become apparent this week. Iran would have suppressed all the reports of the controversy surrounding the elections but they couldn't. The reports came out of that country via computer and cell phone technology - photos, videos, blogs, Facebook, Twitter... The ability of these forms of communication to reach many people at one time, and at the same time connect them with one another, astounds me. I want to be part of it.

I also value a life wherein I am not switched on 24/7/365. I have a cell phone. I do not turn it on except to make calls out. I do not give out the number because I don't receive calls on that phone. I take pastoral interviews in a parlor in the church instead of my office, much of the time, because the ringing phone is a distraction. I don't answer it. I let it ring. So why even be in the same room with it when someone comes to me to talk?

I don't post often on this blog. I don't often have anything I deem worth saying. Alternatively, even when I do have something I'd like to write about, I'm loathe to take the time away from the things that keep me face to face with people.

I may have to, or be able to, switch my brain to an understanding that virtual community may work just as well as face to face, or at least works well in this current world where community is global. After all, I frequent a blog which has become community and even church for me and its denizens. Is it so great a leap to Facebook or Twitter ( and Twitter has been recommended to me over Facebook)?

But my lack of use of this blog, my desire not to be switched on all the time, not to be checking my cell phone in the middle of meetings and one on one conversations to see if it's a caller worth interrupting what I'm doing, failing to check this blog's dashboard more than twice a day to see if anyone left a message to be moderated - all these tell me that I may be just as irrelevant with a Twitter account, or whatever you call it, as I am without one.

I still have a basic cell phone, with no computer access on it. I don't have a blackberry. And my watch has Minnie Mouse on the face, with her big, white-gloved hands pointing to the hour and minute.

I don't know. If I could be assured that people who try to communicate with me on Twitter would be just fine if they didn't hear back from me for hours, I'd feel better about getting a new phone, or something that would make me a little more available.

After all, I can always turn it off.

N.B. I am taking this blog off moderated comments again. Let's see how we do.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

I am still flummoxed by Facebook. I am astounded at the amount of time that people seem to spend on it. I just don't have that kind of time. And "twitter"??? I don't even get that. Am going to have to have an explanation from Jeff on it. AND I want to be able to sit back on the sidelines sometimes/frequently/often and not have to be ALWAYS "on". And then, on the other hand, I also want a place to exchange new ideas and what ifs.....