If we want to develop strong, life-giving relationships, we must communicate with each other, right?
Sounds so simple. So straightforward. So easy. Or not.
We now have at least a dozen ways to contact friends and colleagues.
We can still call on the phone, send a letter, and get together in person. But we can also contact people through a text message, a Skype call, a FacetTime call, an email, a Snapchat photo or video, a tweet or direct message on Twitter, a post or message on Facebook, an individual or group instant message on Slack, a message or post through LinkedIn; a message or post on Wattpad, a message or post on on Goodreads, a comment or message on Pinterest, a video message on Marco Polo . . .
I wonder if all these tools actually make it harder for us to communicate. You might really like to text. Maybe your friend prefers Snapchat. These days we have to work hard at figuring out how best to communicate with the people that matter to us. And then we have to communicate.
Recently a friend of mine introduced me to an app called Marco Polo (https://www.marcopolo.me) that lets participants leave short video messages for each other. You can then watch the video at any time, and it doesn’t disappear as do videos on Snapchat. When my friend invited me, I muttered to myself, “Not me. I’ll never use this App.” I would MUCH rather send a written email or text—something I can think through carefully and edit several times so that I don’t say something hurtful or stupid.
But then I started thinking about the friend who invited me. She said she enjoys communicating this way. Perhaps she likes it better than emailing or texting. Go figure! And I like my friend and want to stay connected to her.
So . . . I downloaded the app and sent my friend a video message. (The Chief Furry Officer made a guest appearance.) It took me several days to realize that my friend had sent me a video message in return. Clearly, I’m still learning how to use this app! But when I opened her video, I just smiled. What a delight to see the face of my friend in addition to hearing her words.
And then I discovered that two twenty-something friends had also sent me video messages. So wonderful to see them and hear their voices again, even if it wasn’t around our dining room table.
I’m glad I stretched my communication muscles a bit and tried Marco Polo. It turned out to be fun. Because we are all wired so differently, we, of course, have different communication styles. I need to remember that and keep stretching my communication muscles. What about you?
Cheering you on as you communicate and grow your friendships!