Last night I had a couple of friends over for dinner. We started talking about how we live out of home so our parents need to get up to speed with modern communication.
None of us have house phones and all work full time, so if our parents want to contact us they need to be able to use something post-90s.
Although mobile phones have been around for over a decade it still seems our parents have trouble grasping the concept. My father Mark* has recently learnt to read text messages, but write one? Don’t even go there. His complaint is the buttons are too small for his fingers, (Note: he is an average man, no disproportionate giant hands.) Tim* starts all messages to his daughter with ‘Hi, its dad’, never mind the fact that she has had his number in her phone for years. John* structures his texts like an email, with a quasi-subject line and email body. ‘Dinner tonight. Hi Laura, will you be home for dinner tonight?’ What if she didn’t have time to read the 9 words in the text message? This ‘subject line’ allows her to get the gist of it.
One mum, Kerry* struggles with the use of technological abbreviations. She recently sent a friend a text about some sad news offering her condolences; ‘I’m sorry to hear what you are going through, lol.’ Her daughter had to explain ‘lol’ is an abbreviation for laugh out loud, not lots of love.
It is the young people in our society who decide the rules of new media and communication mediums. Do older people ever have a choice as to whether embrace it or get on board? Will people over 30 ever be responsible for starting new communication trends?
Another awkward topic is when older users attempt to embrace new media, but just can’t seem to grasp it. One mother was disappointed when her daughter wasn’t replying to her Facebook posts- the only problem was the mum was writing to her daughter on her own wall.
Recently, one friend was online and had a friend request from a ‘Hibiscus Bell’. Not knowing who this person was she accepted and had to figure out who it might be. To her amusement her mother had not put up her name, photo or personal information because she was worried someone might ‘steal her identity’.
In this case is the mum right? Are we sharing too much information on social media? I can’t even count the number of inappropriate things being posted on my social media news streams on a daily basis. I think sometimes people forget who will be seeing it and how it comes across. This is a totally different can of worms!
Is technology moving too fast and if it is will it break down regular communication? I know I’d prefer to send a quick text to having to call someone, hoping they are at home and they will return your call. I have a friend who is not on Facebook and misses out of vital group gossip! Do people have a choice to resist new media anymore?
I’d like your thoughts on this…..
*Names have been changed for privacy/embarrassment reasons
Posted By Bridget