Monday, February 09, 2009

Levels of communication

Today Emily-Talkalot really took the biscuit. I have been conversing with Polly simultaneously over no less than FOUR communication mediums. It made me realise that although some seem similar, I really do use every messaging medium for different purposes.

1) Twitter
I start with Twitter simply because it was on Twitter that I realised that the parallel conversations were occuring. I use Twitter as an outlet for my butterfly thinking (a concept introduced to me by a colleague years ago). When something is in my head and I want to share it, I tweet it. Tweeting doesn't need to worry about whether its a convenient time for the recipient of the message. In fact there isn't a recipient usually because I am broadcasting inane things. I will send out interesting links or funny comments on my day, and reply to other people's.

2) Email
Email is, for me, mainly a work messaging tool these days. I do email home and friends (although not very often). The sad thing is, aside from when I have Work Head on, an email seems like a very large chunk of messaging to undertake at any one time

3) Facebook
- Facebook messages have largely replaced my social email usage in the last year. It is my most comprehensive address book for friends and family
- Facebook walls. I leave little detail-free messages on people's walls "how are you" or "happy birthday". Anything more detailed tends to go in a proper Facebook message because other people don't need to see it
- Facebook messenger. The newest messaging application in facebook, this is great because I am an MSN messenger addict but most of my friends and family aren't on there. My sister tends to hang around on Facebook a lot (stay at home mum... tut!) so I can often have a good chat with her on this

4) SMS
I use my mobile phone for SMS much more than I use it to call people. My phone is a BlackBerry so its really easy to type things. I sometimes forget though that the recipient is not mandated to reply immediately and (used to quicker messaging means) I can have a tendancy to watch my phone and wait...

I love MMS too (I especially used to use it a lot to get photos from my phone to my blog) but for some reason I can't make it work in Australia.

5) MSN
I *love* MSN. In my old job I used to sit with an MSN window to Almostalady all day. We would have full on conversations which lasted a whole day. We would pass on tidbits we had heard from our opposite sides of the office. It was great. Now Almostalady's shoes have been filled by Polly and it is still great. Its also great to have MSN running if I am at home in the evening. While watching TV I can chat to Almostalady and Cathy (who will have just reached work as I finish my dinner and are therefore looking to be distracted).

6) Letters
I love receiving them, but rarely write them. My dad writes weekly and I love the banal content. He also emails me, meaning occasionally I read something which he already told me a fortnight before (gosh post is slow!) but there is something so lovely about a letter. You make time for it and settle down to read it. Then when its over, its over. You can read it again, but you can't hit reply. Its beauty is in its lack of immediacy. Sometimes I like to think of my blog as a kind of 21st century letter. It doesn't have all the brilliance of the slow delivery, but it is the only place where I give myself up to thoughts that I imagine a Jane Austen character might wander through as she constructs a letter to her married sister.

7) Face to face, good ol' fashioned talking. Best done down the pub I say :-)


Sideways sillyness said...

6 & 7 are so 20th century darling, they went out with kipper ties

katy said...

At my agency we have the wonderful 'communicator' tool which is everything rolled into one. You can dial (or even conference call!) between laptops, IM, say where you are and whether you are free, find people all around the global network and send stuff to people. AMAZING.

Add that to your list and it's a wonder i ever get any work done!

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