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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)

TITLE: Imitation Communication
By Lynn Moses
11/11/10


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I’m somewhat of an oddball when it comes to most forms of cyber communication. I use email, but that’s about it. In fact, I don’t even like that much anymore. Days go by and I realize I haven’t checked my email for a while. Ugh! Unfortunately, by the time I get to it, there is something like 72 emails that I need to wade through. First there are all the companies trying to sell me something. I guess that’s my fault for giving them my email address, but I really wanted that extra 15% off! And then there are all of the forwards that I want to look at just in case there’s something funny (I do like the funny ones). Much of the time, it’s just a promise of “good luck” or “a special blessing” if I forward the emails to 50 people in 30 seconds. DELETE. Occasionally, I will find one that’s relevant, important, or a pleasure to read. So, I guess that’s enough to keep me going.

Facebook is one form of cyber communication that I really don’t understand. I am one of the few people I know that doesn’t have a Facebook account. Even my older friends and family have a Facebook page. I guess I can appreciate grandparents wanting to see pictures of their grandkids and reading about what the children are up to. But for the rest of the people who are on everyday, I can’t imagine what could be so captivating. Is it really that exciting to find out what someone is having for dinner? That they are going to the store? That their cat just threw up on the carpet? Or worse yet, getting in on conversations between people that they really probably shouldn’t be privy to? What is the motivation to read all the dull things their friends are doing, post pictures people really don’t care to see, and write mind-numbing and/or inappropriate information about their own lives? I can barely manage the time and enthusiasm to write my Christmas letter each year let alone post to Facebook daily.

Then there is the whole texting craze. I had my cell phone company block my texts, because people were sending them to me, I couldn’t read them, and I was being charged for them! Unfortunately, the texting language is starting to show up in my emails and I have a terrible time trying to read those. If my grandparents were alive they would be horrified to see how our written language is being butchered. All those abbreviations and purposeful misspellings!

My six year old asked us the other day what ‘lol’ meant. I don’t even know where he heard about it. Before I could answer, my husband, who also doesn’t text, said “It means ‘lots of love.’” Wow! I thought it meant ‘laugh out loud’. Boy, that could be very confusing, awkward, and the cause of many misunderstandings. What if you got a text that said, “URGR8! Lol.” (I had to look that up by the way). Would they be saying they were sending lots of love or laughing at you?

What about this one “G2GICYAL8ER?” (I had to look that up, too.) It means “Got to go I’ll see you later.” I couldn’t figure that out on my own. What if I didn’t have access to my text dictionary before I figured out what they were trying to say. Maybe I might think that it meant “Got to get ice-cream, y’all ate every rainbow ” or “Get to Grandma’s in case you all eighter.” Well, I guess those don’t make much sense either. For those of us who learned how to type, I think it would be faster to just spell out what we are trying to say to avoid any confusion-or better yet call and leave a message!

So, while some technological advances are good, there’s always the potential for harm if we are not careful. God had created us to be in relationship with him and others. Remember the Golden Rule? Email, instant messaging, texting, Facebook and many other forms of cyber communication need to be used with caution. We still need face to face time with people so that we can communicate clearly with words, intonation and body language and to demonstrate our willingness to invest in a relationship with them.

So, make some time this week to get together with someone and spend some meaningful time developing your relationship. TAFN lol.


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This article has been read 227 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/12/10
U r ttly doing a gr8 job (you are totally doing a great job!) you are right we still need that face to face communication. Plus more cell phones now come with a full keyboard so some of the kids are finding it easier just to type the whole message out. You did a good job pulling me into your story and I knew all of your abbreviations but I'm not sure if that's a good thong or a bad thing. Lol :)
Brenda Rice 11/13/10
I agree with your message completely. I enjoyed reading your article. It was clear and informative.
Neva Bodin11/13/10
You are right in your assessment. We have great and more numberous ways to communicate while communication is failing and misunderstood more than ever.
Philippa Geaney 11/13/10
Gr8 work. Well said in form and content.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/18/10
Congratulations for placing 6th place in level 1!