Facing change, Facetime and all

By Carol Walker



Today I heard a short clip on the radio by Kim Komando, the “digital goddess,” as she calls herself, during which she mentioned in light of current technology, coming generations will probably never experience writing letters, putting them in the mailbox and pondering the response of the receiver. Sending a message today is instantaneous, with an almost immediate response. Skype and Facetime usher us into the living rooms of one another, allowing face-to-face communication though we are far away.

She also remarked that sending photos off to be developed is almost a thing of the past due to the capabilities of phones and digital cameras. Searching for information on any topic? Google is at our fingertips – no longer is there vast research required at some library miles away.

Through Facebook, blogs, Twitter and other social media, we can communicate, not only with our close friends, but we can send a message or opinion to the world. Our thoughts can go out, unfiltered to a few thousand or more of our internet friends.

Using some forms of social media, our words can be limited, so we must learn to summarize. No more long, detailed description of an event as in a letter, as we now abbreviate communication, even using acronyms to get our point across.

Change. It is something that can cause us to transition and embrace the new possibilities or shrink back, depending on our attitude toward the nature of the change. When we are in transition, it forces us to examine our present way of thinking and acting and make a change. Technology can force the issue for us, but also major life changes like getting married, having children, moving to a new location, finding a new job, going to a new school, retiring and entering the empty nest years.

Recently chatting with our son and family in Alaska, I see them in the midst of many changes. They have a new baby, they are selling their house, moving to Michigan, into a new job, a different house, different church, new friends and the list goes on. These things are positive, but all of these will require a change in the parameters of their thinking, how it all fits together, and it may bring about a certain degree of stress until they work through it.

Retirement is another major time of transition which can bring about stress because suddenly the focus of life changes from a steady job to “What am I supposed to do now?”  Self-esteem and identity issues that crop up must be dealt with or they can lead to depression and physical illness.

Life never stays the same, but I think in all the transitions in life, people and relationships are paramount. If new technology, new jobs, new places, retirement and other transitions send us into isolation or cause us to summarize all our conversations as on a Twitter message, that’s not good. But, if we can work through them so somehow relationships are enhanced, I am all for it.

For me, going from a very old flip phone to an iPhone, passed on to me from my son, and training a new puppy, have been transitions that have nearly tipped me over the edge. I am adjusting the “parameters of my thinking.” I am hoping for better “face time” with family and friends and deeper relationships. Not sure what the puppy will do, but he makes us laugh, which is a good thing.

Speaking of change, we have a change at the Prevailer office as Jeff Smith, with seemingly glad anticipation, steps into the shoes once filled by Kacie, who has moved on to another phase in her life. Good luck to him as he pursues life as a “cheerleader” for the Hill City community!