To Blog or not to Blog – that is the question

November 6, 2014

I was asked to write a blog recently – I had to stop and think for a minute (and then of course google!) – What is a blog anyway? What should it say? Would anyone really read it? Would anyone really care?  And then it hit me, literally hit me, I realised that it was nearly 22 years since I had written anything that didn’t involve an analysis on something specific, or a report on a work issue. In other words, any ‘writing’ I had done was business writing with no room or indeed need for creativity or wit or humour. Although some would argue that as an accountant we lack creativity, wit and humour anyway!

This also was true when I lost a friend’s phone number and the only method of communication was by writing a letter – I’m still in the process of trying to write it. I mean I have tried – but in some ways it seems a bit forced, and almost formal and unfriendly! A chat on the phone cannot be misinterpreted; a chat doesn’t leave someone wondering what the other person was trying to say. Yet…here we are in the 21st Century and we communicate now even more by technology that we ever did. We send emails to colleagues sitting beside us, we Facebook our friends on their birthdays rather than calling them, we post pictures and save them on our devices rather than putting them in picture frames and hanging them up – we commiserate, rejoice, poke fun and joke with each other through social media – in fact we have even taken to sympathising on the passing of someone on these sites. In fact I found out about the death of an old friend living in the States on Facebook – when he died the family didn’t know how to contact me – so Facebook did! It seemed wrong. Very wrong – but yet I have become immersed in this world too. Too often we ‘hide’ behind the email – have you ever heard someone say ‘’it’s just easier to send a mail’’ – and yes it might be easier, but it is just a little bit more social or human to speak! How often to you find yourself cursing the talking telephones, frustrated as all you want to do is speak with a human? How often do you feverously write an email getting straight to the point, only to have to go back to beginning of it to add ‘’How are you?’’ before you hit the send button?

to-blog-or-not

I cannot live without a form of communication that is functional, fast, and dare I say it retrievable. We almost use it as a means to clarify – just in case we didn’t understand what was said! Just in case we need to remind someone that they didn’t do something. We use it dismissively – ‘I’m really busy now, just send me an email and I’ll get to it’’. We use it as a record – it gives us protection and security.

We are told that it’s good to talk – but have we forgotten our social skills in our techno savvy world? People sitting in restaurants, on the bus, in the car –  texting, twittering,  pleading with people to like them, watch them, look at them, follow them, hire them. Have we become so busy, has time become so precious that it’s quicker to ‘not talk’ and more efficient to text or tweet? Are we in fear of always been switched on? Will the lure of technology of the permanent ‘on switch’ remove the very joy of flicking through a book, smelling the print from the pages rather than reading in on a device?  Will it mean that we will forget how to write? Our fingers will allow us to type, but when we get to write a letter, how can we edit it? Recheck it? Delete it? Will it remove the world renowned friendly persona that we are known to have in Ireland? How often have you observed people out in a group, all with their devices and no one speaking? It’s almost turning into ‘’people should be seen but not heard’’ scenario.

In spite of all of this will I be putting the phone away? Will I be switching off my email? Probably not. But I will switch ON when I am with my friends and family, I will engage with them on a personal level, I will listen to what they are saying, I will give them my attention. I will ensure that my children read books and love to write. I will ensure that they can have a conversation with a human (!), rather than having their noses in an iPad!

And when I need the news, or a quick update, or have a last minute request, I will once again switch back ON to whatever form of communication I need. When you think about it, I will need the very form of communication that I sometimes scorn to get this message out…poetic justice!

Evelyn

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