Twenty years ago, my mode of communication to call up and down the coast of the Mexican Caribbean was a marine radio. There were no phones. I drove to people’s houses if I wanted to talk to them and we had conversations because we had not seen each other in days, weeks or sometimes months. I left notes on the door if no one was home. Once a month, I made a collect call to the good ol’ US of A to let my parents know I was still alive.
Three years later, I stood huddled around a CRT screen at a “caseta” (a room with public phones) watching the internet immerge and I remember how amazed I was at how the green characters on the screen almost suddenly appeared on another computer as an “email”. This new thing called the internet made electronic messaging, information and business all happen for me. I learned to write web pages to give information to people about this area I loved, the Riviera Maya. It started as a hand full of web pages and daily emails, driving to Tulum each day to connect to a blessed phone line.
At lightning speed, a few web pages turned into hundreds and I spent my days answering people’s questions and connecting with them. A world of communication that spanned the globe allowed all of us to touch one another.
Communication now is a status update on Facebook, 140 characters on twitter, text messages by phone, no need to hear a voice or be heard. We send out messages that many can see, but is anyone listening?
My profession is communications, yet I can sometimes feel alone in this connected world as perhaps others do. The geek in me loves the speed, ease and technology of communication. However, what I am trying to do now, when I do connect with someone (especially if it is face to face) is to be present and look at them in the eyes and smile from my heart.
I have used the electronic gadgets as my shield to protect myself from allowing people to get too close.
Yet ironically, I want nothing more than to be able to be authentic, open and truly be me around others.
My question to you….are the messages that you’re sending just part of the millions of other messages floating around in an electronic sea in hopes of making a connection with someone?