"The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God." -St Irenaeus of Lyon

Friday Forum: I’m sorry, but I missed seeing my icon bounce.

Today’s Friday Forum is admittedly a bit tongue-and-cheek.  The purpose of the Friday Forum is to provide a venue to encourage more conversation on the blog, but when reader feedback is limited, it’s limited.  When I started the blog, I pulled some gems from my twitter feed that seemed to invite greater commentary.  Today, this old tweet struck me:

Communication in the Technological Age: I’m sorry, but I missed seeing my icon bounce.

In many ways, it seems like our world is completely depersonalized.  A trivial example chosen for relevance to the claim: I honestly don’t know who reads my blog.  The majority of the comments I get are from spam bots.  (And I cannot figure out what is causing the relatively huge amounts of spam that I get.)  But in our frenzy, we can miss the messages that matter or be rendered completely helpless by features of geographical separation.  Equally, we can postulate that everyone interacts with the various forms of technologically-mediated communication in the same we do.

It’s problematic, but I don’t see any way around it.  Even the technologies of old, like the lost art of letter-writing, brought a way to increase communication at a distance.  The vast majority of people in my generation are good at technologically mediating friendships, particularly as various technologies make that a lot easier.

Yet we easily assume that everyone gets our message (and the meaning behind the message) because we have sent it whether through email, chat server, blogs, FB status update, Twitter, what have you.  So often we forget to close the loop because we assume that we’ve been heard and understood.  Many times we lose touch with the realities of communication because we distance ourselves from the complex act of ascribing mutual meaning to a given situation.  And so it goes on.

Again, as the Friday Forum exists to create space for readers of the blog to ask me any question, I invite your questions in the comments below.  Perhaps I have just missed a message.


2 responses

  1. To turn what you’ve posted on its head, I’ve had not a few incidents on facebook where I’ve posted something which I thought a particular “audience” would appreciate or understand only to get replies from friends who have no connection to it (in my mind) and to whom it was not directed. Maybe these fall into the “God works in mysterious ways” category.

    23 April 2010 at 8:59 am

    • Certainly certainly. I’m always amused that the way FB statuses work to in communication. Never really know who is going to respond. Thanks for your comment Aaron!

      23 April 2010 at 11:08 am

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