Reba's Rambles
Today I sit here and I think about the new ways in which we can communicate.  Yes, this subject is broad, but I feel it important to look at the past to see where we are going.  Let me narrow this down a bit and focus on a personal situation.  Throughout the observations of innovation in this blog I will refer back to communication between my mother and me. 

Summer camp and Snail Mail!

Flash back to the days of Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, and butterfly clips.  This was my first ‘away from home’ experience.  The key to surviving your first away from home experience is communication with MOM!  The irony of it all was that you were only gone a week, and mom had sent letters before you left to ensure the arrival of them the first morning you woke up there.  Anticipation of the time laps between sending and receiving a message was days, not seconds that we experience now.  Let’s move on to the early 2000’s.

You’ve got mail?

Summer camp eventually evolved into a month during the summer in which I was abroad.  Spending a hot July month in Japan was not the smartest idea in the world, but the success of it all was again based on communication and support from Mom.  This time it was different. A few years the wiser and a few years for technology to really develop left everyone with email addresses.  No longer did Mom have to send a letter a week before I left to know I would get something, she could boot up the computer and talk to her daughter that was many times zones away with the magic of a send button!  This was amazing, the time difference in receiving a message wasn’t days, or minuets, one simply had to start the computer and type a response.  Suddenly the shift was starting to move towards this being a benefit for mom more than daughter.

I can see you and you’re 3000 miles away!

Hello 2007 and college study abroad.  My mom and I are close, and the thought of me being away for an entire semester in Europe quickly became not a good thing for Mom. Four months away with no physical contact, email pictures (yes), call from a phone booth (yes), but it would not be the same as Mom talking to her daughter in person. The answer (no not flying to Europe, use your educational and technology savvy brains…) SKYPE! Suddenly we could see and talk to each other, and only a few times did I have to remind her to, “stop yelling, I can hear you fine” and “stop waving, I can see you”. 

Present day…(Facebook, twitter, and apps oh my!)

This week my mom signed up for Facebook.  A whole new training is in progress to communicate through a social network with Mom.  Although she calls me to tell me to go on Facebook so we can talk, I have hopes for this.  She will figure it out. 

I look at the past, where we have come, and wonder where we can go.  I constantly wonder how the various generations are adapting to all these new ways of communication.  What happens to those who just refuse to jump on this social network bandwagon? Are they missing out because all the information being sent via Facebook and Twitter is not being sent through the postal service or telephone anymore?

So I question you...Is it our responsibility to engage others and train them into this new phenomenon to ‘keep up with the times’ or do we let them sit back and schedule that telephone call and remember to write that letter?
9/10/2010 04:02:57

Great first post--I love it and can totally relate! You have a great writing style and I look forward to reading more of Reba's Rambles! See you next week. :)


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