A hundred years ago or fifty years ago, we were born in and lived in a town or a small town or village, and except for postal correspondences or telephone calls, we did not have access to all these new means of communication: mobile phone, internet, social network websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagrams, LinkedIn, Viadeo, Youtube, Vimeo, Skype, Messenger and various other Application did not exist. And communication with people nearby was simpler since we were born in the same place and worked together in the same company for most of our life. People had the same codes of communication, and so communication seemed simpler. We all knew the codes of communication of the world we lived in. Today, families are scattered, in different countries or around the globe thanks to airplanes, fast trains, cars, etc. We can now change jobs quickly and move across land and the globe easily, so we need to be able to communicate to keep our family link and Friendship together. The pace of communication has increased with the invention of the Internet by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989. The internet and TV bring in a flow of new information every day. So every day, we face a stream of information that does not make communication easier. People from the West may not understand all the perspectives of people from the East and people from the South may not understand Northerners. We need keys and other code to communicate better; we need to understand other people’s codes. Our society is undergoing profound changes, with the social network websites. These new modes and codes of communications have changed, the way we relate today, some are friends on Facebook or message on Twitter or relate on Linkedin, Viadeo, etc. There are so many communication tools today – Internet, TV, telephone, mobile phones, emails, and social networks websites, etc.
In a little more than a century, we have passed from a life in a family unit, living in the same place, and sometimes in the same lifelong job, with behaviors and ways of thinking well defined by our environment to an individual and fast-paced life, commuting from one place to the other for work, with the opportunity to be in front of the television with a continuous outpouring of information or in front of a computer connected to the Internet. This requires us to communicate effectively and to adapt to a unique and wonderful way to enable us to be lead fulfilled and happy lives. We need to be nowadays also skilled in digital communication to carry one reaching out to others. However virtual communication is far from sufficient, it must go hand in hand with face to face communication to make us happy and healthy individuals. Being alone with your computer alone can bring individualism, solitude and hiding our true identity. However meeting friends, having a cup of coffee, tea, lunch or dinner can help us discover the real person being the computer. We have to make rooms for digital and virtual communication but not let them dictate our life and annihilate human relationship. They are the means to enhance our life and communication, and should not be used as a tool for exclusion, virtualization of relationship, maintaining human in a fragile mental world only. If this is the case, then we may be sadly wondering who is behind the avatar or the picture on the social website. This should not happen. Let’s meet and communicate with our real and close friends regularly.
Use these questions to determine where you stand and then change, adapt your circumstances to lead more successful relationships.
Are you familiar with social networking websites?
Are you honest with your friends on these websites?
Develop a list of respectful, courteous behavior that will make you a kind and effective communicator online and offline?
Do you answer all emails, messages respectfully and within an acceptable timeframe work?
How do you deal with unfriendly people online?
Develop a list of acceptable, courteous and respectful manner to get rid of people harassing you online; and write them down
Do you meet regularly your friends face to face to avoid leaving in a virtual universe?
If you are away from family and friends, do you have a support network via church, work, or a close social group within your community?
How do you develop, nurture and strengthen relationship within your family?
How do you develop, nurture and strengthen relationship within your circle of friends?
How do you develop, nurture and strengthen relations within your community and outside, developing authentic, genuine friendship with all the children of God in the world?