So about two days into her summer vacation, my 15-year-old daughter sent me a text somewhere around 11 a.m. asking me to tell her how to make coffee. I had to laugh, as I knew she did not expect me to pick up the phone to call her, rather to text her how to make coffee, which at our house involves grinding and other advanced coffee skills. There is just no way I could text that information, partly because my brain does not work that way and partly because my fingers do not work that way. It would have taken me 15 minutes to text her these directions. When I suggested that I could call her and tell her? Her response: “never mind.”
And then last week I took a class on how to tweet … seriously.
This has made me think about the ways we can communicate these days, and how challenging communication can be. With all these new technologies, we say it is becoming easier to communicate via Skype, Twitter, Facebook, text etc. But to me it is just getting more and more difficult.
We have all these technologies, but everyone has their own preference when it comes to communication, which just seems to complicate the whole thing. Take my own family: my dad has a cell phone but does not turn it on, so to communicate with him I need to call him on his landline or send him an email. Now he knows how to Skype, so that is a new option. My mom only has a cell phone, no landline, but she does text and email, so I can reach out all those ways. My daughter only texts and will not usually answer the phone or check her email, so if I need her I must text her. My husband often does not answer his phone, so sometimes I just have to wait until I get home to talk to him. Others I keep track of through Facebook.
Sometimes at work I tire of emailing someone who is just down the hall, and so I just pick myself up and walk down and have a conversation. I am an “in person talk aloud sort of person” I have decided.
I am not trying to be a dinosaur about all this. I like change, and hey, embrace technology. But keeping track of it all is challenging. And notice, I did not even mention the “party line” we had growing up (yes actually sharing a phone line with other people!).
Here at NCCF we know that everyone has a preference of how they like to hear from us, so we try to meet most needs and use a variety of channels and tools, including our website, an active social media presence, emails and both digital and print versions of most things.
And sometimes it means picking up the phone, or meeting over coffee or writing a handwritten note. We are working to ensure we are communicating so you can hear us. We want to hear from you, whatever method you use.
My preference is to meet over coffee, without having to text you how to make it.