Because communicating by electronic media is a skill all its very own we are more likely to get a wrong than get it right. Because communication is an art heralded so often by the wisdom of hindsight, putting another barrier before relatedness, as in technology, will not help. Many times we use technology wrongly or haphazardly, and then we can appear to care less than we actually do.
It may be okay if we want to appear not to care. But that should never be our aim.
Perhaps electronic media merely translates how much or how little we care, as well as how competent or incompetent we are when it comes to communication and love.
It is a fact these days that there appears to be less love going around, more busyness, and less time for people and things people have always done until the modern age; that is, being together and relating with one another.
The Demonstration of Care
This is the more pertinent question: Do we actually care?
Even in a Christian world we cannot take this question for granted. Even within the living realm that supposedly holds the Gospel high we cannot assume it is a priority for everyone. But the Jesus of the Gospels is irrefutable in this aspect; to care is to love. It is our mandate if we call Christ our God.
And if we care we will care about our messages of communication. If we care we will choose carefully what and how and when and to whom we communicate. If we care we will appreciate the double-edged nature of communicating effectively. If we care we will not only appreciate but we will respect time-honoured traditions of our communicative culture. If we care we will take the time and implement action at the level of our godliest-possible character.
When we care we take the time we need to take in order to nurture our relationships. When we care we ensure that conflicts we end up in can be resolved to the relative satisfaction of all parties. When we care we turn off our phones and computers and tablets and we simply relate. And hopefully we relate in ways that mean we don’t rush back to our technologies; that our relationships don’t suffer at the expense of these.
When we care we are prepared to take the slow route. We see things from the other person’s perspective. We are no longer blinded by whiz-bang technology. Human relationships go to the top of the pile. Technology becomes the tool it was always meant to be—not the ruler of our worlds.
All this is hard in our day of technological ease. It is good to be mindful of this.
The purpose of communication in a human world is to get things done and achieve understanding, through caring. The more we think about people, and the less we rely wholly on technology, the better our communication works.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.