Manage communication breakdown


telephone-1822040_640One of my friends, who I’ve only known for a quarter-century wondered how we manage communication, She has four different email accounts, three WhatsApp groups; texts via mobile phone and Facebook account and DMs on Twitter and Facebook.

I’m exhausted just reading the trimmed list.

There were times in the past, it seems, that most people we wanted to reach could be accessed by a single methodology, first by letter, then by phone. As technology has grown, and users’ learning curves differ, it seems more difficult to contact everyone.

Most snail mail I throw into a drawer and leave until it’s nearly full. Then once a month, the great purge, sorting the recyclable from the shreddable material.

Our olde cellphones

Both my wife and I don’t text much because our phones, hers most especially, are old. When my sister became injured a couple years back, the conversations on my phone came through, but not the graphics. Incidentally, I don’t know how old my phone IS. I know it’s less than five years, from something I blogged. Subsequently, I lost that phone in a hotel and had to get a new one, which drains battery power far too quickly. So the phone is off unless I initiate its use.

My wife was added to a text chat and didn’t even know it. She missed some info about a topic of import to her. Now her phone is prehistoric, more than a decade old, possibly older than a certain teenager we know. Actually, my wife will be getting a new phone soon, but we had to wait for the service provider to change hands.

People who text don’t understand folks who don’t.

There was the mom of a friend of my daughter. I could call her on the phone, leave a message, but never get a response. If I Instant Messaged her on Facebook, nearly instant response. But when my daughter IMs me, and I’m not online, she’ll call me to scold me to check my Facebook. Why she can’t just TELL me the info, now that she reached me?

The landline phone answering machine is iffy. I’ll get a message, but if my wife plays it back, I might not notice until the number of recorded messages gets long enough.

I know people who have email but check it only sporadically. It appears to be my primary form of communication. But it will be overwhelmingly crowded until November because every Democratic candidate for President and their common opponent contact me constantly. I delete most of them quickly, but still.

Oh, I should check my AOL account every three months. I keep it as a “recovery for passwords” email. What IS my AOL password? I’ll need to get a recovery text.

I have Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn, but I seldom actually look at any of them. At least I don’t have to manage communications at the job anymore. No work email or phone mail or snail mail messages. <?strong>

Mansplaining and other forms of communication

There are lots of terms just alienate some people. Black Lives Matter. White privilege. Institutional racism.

mansplainer1Arthur, the executive producer of the vast AmeriNZ empire wonders:

How do you reconcile agreeing philosophically with people, yet being #@$%*! annoyed with them? I’m thinking of political activists, religious people, whatever. Generally speaking, do you tend to focus on the agreement and ignore what annoys you, or does your annoyance prevent you from acknowledging the agreement?

I used to have this brother-in-law. Back in 1977, my gypsy year, I crashed on his and my sister’s sofa during the summer. They lived in Queens, but he and I occasionally went into Manhattan on the subway. He was all into renewable energy, the kind of ideas President Jimmy Carter was talking about – and America largely rejected. But BIL was a sanctimonious pain, who would point out the foibles of other people – “No one is talking to each other” – while oblivious to his own.

I have found that period to be useful training in dealing with political activists this season Continue reading “Mansplaining and other forms of communication”

Music and communication

I do have affection for Chester A. Arthur.

cher-dyingMore Ask Roger Anything questions from Chris:

How do you explain to your daughter how to vet sources?

It must be from example. Just recently, my daughter said, of a tabloid cover in the supermarket, “Cher isn’t really dying, is she?” We watch a couple news networks, plus Comedy Central, not every day, but often enough, so she can clearly see that shows often offer different emphases.

In your opinion, is Wikipedia a reliable source?
Continue reading “Music and communication”

Communications breakdown

The real problem is that, in the state budget cuts, a lot of institutional memory is being lost; NO ONE, at least that I could find, knows the answer to the question.

I was listening to the podcast the Kunstlercast a few weeks ago. James Howard Kunstler and Duncan Crary “have a ramble ‘n rant episode on the robitification of our communications landscape, that wasteland of overcomplexity and hyperdependence of modern technology.” I so related.

In my job, I use a lot of computer databases. But inevitably, I need to call various government and association contact by phone. Talking with someone, I often find Continue reading “Communications breakdown”

The Lydster, Part 99: Her Father’s Daughter

We’ve been singing “Build Me Up, Buttercup” together.

For years, part of the running shtick between my wife and me has been this: I ask her a question. She responds to the question. Then I ask the question again, because, while I have some information, I often don’t have the ANSWER. I must say that, early on, it used to drive me crazy. Now, I just recognize it as just the way it is.

Here’s an example from a couple months ago. I had seen some fresh strawberries in the refrigerator earlier, so I asked her where they had gone. She replied Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 99: Her Father’s Daughter”