Posted On 2022-01-29 In Communication

How do we communicate today?

Carlos Ricciardi, Argentina •

In this world, where we are immediately connected with what is happening everywhere, where we receive numerous messages, notices, circulars, notifications, promotions, spam, etc., and where we also communicate with our favorite or necessary pages for our work, social, family, sports, religious, commercial and other activities, I ask myself and I ask you (as my parish priest Guillermo says in his sermons) Is my communication and use of today’s digital media efficient and responsible? —

… someone would appear saying Happy Birthday!

With the massive use of WhatsApp, especially for groups, I noticed that my life changed in an abrupt and untimely way… I began to receive a large number of messages of all kinds of information in which the answers were mixed, and in the middle of those answers appeared other information that had nothing to do with the previous. When I thought (after a while) I had found the thread of the ideas of the topics presented, someone would appear saying “Happy Birthday!”, and from then on the course and the path of the original information would change and we would all end up celebrating the birthday. It is good to celebrate and celebrate birthdays, but the sense of communicating, informing and exchanging ideas is lost.

I recognize and appreciate the progress in the media, which allows us to communicate with everyone in an effective and fast way, which allows us to reach and communicate with people who are isolated or alone (as long as they have a signal…), which has saved lives and, especially in this period of pandemic, has allowed many to work remotely and others to cope with this long confinement and care to which we must submit ourselves to avoid falling into the hands of the COVID.

How to use these communication tools

However, I consider that we should learn how to use these not that new communication tools so that they do not affect our spiritual, physical, family and social life… We know of family tables where the members are using their cell phones while eating… Perhaps they are communicating by WhatsApp among themselves! or in social gatherings or in a personal dialogue where the interruptions of the cell phones do not allow dialogue…

In, as in other media, the news is reported weekly on Mondays through a newsletter. Each subscriber receives by e-mail a list of the articles, activities, information, that occurred the previous week, besides being published daily on the web page. This allows me to order the reception of the information, unless an urgent news has to be reported.

This example can be applied to the use of WhatsApp groups, instead of sending information at all hours and times of the day, which, as we said before, gets lost in the mix of comments and information. Today it seems that every day something must be published, perhaps with the intention of informing, but, in my opinion, what it does is to confuse and fill with information, complaints, claims, advertisements, etc. that produce tiredness, annoyance and indifference. And this happens not only in WhatsApp groups but also with governments, politicians, the media and the Church itself.

It would seem that I am against these new means of communication, especially cell phones, but this is not so. I believe that we should use them in an orderly manner and in a way that does not affect our quality of life. To achieve this, we must learn to use, value and respect them. As I am not a specialist in the subject, I leave it as a concern.

Two-way dialogue communication

Finally, and perhaps it should come first, I would like to highlight person-to-person communication, which for me is the most effective and the one that has the greatest impact, especially in face-to-face communication. But due to the pandemic, on the one hand, and the impossibility of being able to be everywhere, on the other hand, I emphasize the importance of communication by cell phone. A few days ago we published a request for prayers for the Family Missions in group form, also in the group. The response was from only a few. In this circumstance we looked for the cell phones of people we knew and of the Schoenstatt groups and we sent a personal message to each one… Hello Juan! How are you? and then the message that we had sent as a group. The response was immediate, the people adhered to the prayers and there was an interesting exchange about how they were and what they were experiencing at that moment. In some cases we ended up praying for them.

That is why we emphasize the personalization in the message, in the back and forth, in the dialogue of two (not monologues of two, where one speaks and the other listens). The biggest surprise was when, due to the increase of COVID cases in Argentina, it was decided to suspend the Family Missions and we informed everyone, but one by one, personally. We received the response of thanks for having informed them and some other comments that allowed the continuity of the dialogue and a better communication.

Original: Spanish, January 27, 2022. Translation: Maria Fischer


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