It's been a long time since I've posted an update. It's not that I haven't been active: Check out my facebook page, find me on LinkedIn, read my tweets, etc. etc. If you're closer to me, you've emailed, called, texted, instant messaged or connected through gchat or skype.
Doesn't that underscore the amount of activity we are now responsible for? Whew! It is a good explanation for why we never seem to have enough time in a day to complete a to-do list.
I remember the days when I would eagerly await the mail. I was always an avid letter writer who, at any given time, worked on a draft to someone in my head. At the next opportunity, I wrote it down and sent it out. I kept track of letters and waited for the responses. The ones to Korea would take longer but the ones to Massachusetts could respond within a week!
Eventually, the mail truck rumbled to the end of the driveway and it was like the lottery--sometimes a reply appeared, sometimes not.
Fast forward to today: It is entirely possible to have 200 messages awaiting a response. Business email messages demand answers and clients need feedback. Bills, invoices, complaints, praise, you name it, it's in there. Even if there is some spam or marketing, you still have to sift through those items to get to what you need. Can you imagine 200 pieces of mail in your mailbox?
So now, in place of those one or two reminders your brain carried around, we now carry the uneasy feeling of having batches and batches of unread messages. Or updates or blog posts or unfinished chats . . ..
It's really amazing. Of course, it is draining and time consuming and incredibly distracting but also amazing. We can communicate instantly with someone in Korea! Sharing information has never been easier as we all forward links to interesting articles or broadcasts. We send whatever crosses our minds as they occur. Gone are the days of drafting long letters and in their place we send rounds and rounds of paragraphs or sentences.
And it has all changed within such a short period of time. Scientists have only begun research on how we humans have adjusted, if we have at all.
In the meantime, there's a nice social contract out there that recognizes this new chapter in our human experiment. Generally, it seems most everyone agrees that the methods of communication are more art than science. Like art, we respect other people's methods and, most importantly, different speeds. It is how, if we message someone respectable and they do not reply right away, we ascribe a delay to a robust schedule and not an inherent flaw like laziness. (Although, the busy probably do deserve a few lazy days.)
Thank goodness, right? Otherwise, we'd all end up raving maniacs anxiously awaiting responses and overwhelmed by the pressure to respond instantly.
It is immensely comforting to think that, while we utilize hard edged technology to deliver our messages, we exercise the gentleness of our squishy humanity to manage it.
I'm going to rely on that grace to apologize for the delay in posting and promise to do so more frequently in the future.
Thank you! :)