Thursday, March 19, 2009

Communication at the Speed of Light


We are busy people… probably TOO busy. Yet, I haven’t a clue what I could possibly leave out since there are so many things that I feel like I should do, that I seldom find time to do. So, whenever we have lessons at chruch on gratitude and people raise their hands with all of the obvious answers of being grateful for love, family, gospel, prophets, temples, freedom, and so on, I say a hardy, “Amen.” And then I raise my hand and tell everyone that I am grateful modern electronic technology. That’s the absolute truth. I do it every time. I LOVE email, blogs, cell phones, voicemail, online photo albums, FACEBOOK, Classmates.com and the like. I’ve even learned how to text.

The thing that I love best about all of the above is that I can use them completely on my own terms and my own timetable. I read my email (and reply) when it suits me. The same applies for voicemail or checking out my FACEBOOK pages. And while I was sleeping, or teaching or traveling or whatever… someone left me a message or a link or some information that I need or want and when I get to where and/or when I want to look at it or listen to it, I am free to do so, even if it is in the middle of the night!

When our son, BJ, was so ill with leukemia, there were well over a hundred people who wanted to know how he was doing. Blogs did not yet exist as that would have been the best, I think. But I used email to stay in touch with everyone, even people in my own family, neighborhood and ward. It made it so that I did not have to repeat all the details over and over (which I could have never endured) and everyone knew what was happening, how they could help, what prayers were needed, etc. The support that poured in and enveloped us like a comfortable quilt carried us through the most difficult days of our lives. I wrote everything out once (which became my only journal of those times) and I clicked on all of the addresses and “poof” people all over the country (and even a couple out of the country) were thinking of us and our sweet BJ. I cannot tell you how much their reply emails helped us on several different levels.

From Classmates.com I reconnected with a few of my dearest friends in high school… and thirty years after our glory days, we met up in Hawaii for eight days of heaven on earth. We all remain in touch today and wish for matching schedules that would allow us to go to Hawaii again!

I’ve hooked up with former classmates, ward members and friends from the past through FACEBOOK and find it useful in keeping up with all of them (including family members). I also think part of the spirit of Elijah is being fulfilled as connection after connection occurs all over the world.
~ "Malachi 4: 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD; 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers..." It’s a wonderful thing.

So, yes, I’m grateful for electronic technology. However, it can’t take the place of the personal touch. Just yesterday I went visiting teaching and gave my sister a card that read on the cover, “In this fast-paced, busy world, when you need friend, just pick up the phone and call me…”

Inside it said: “And leave a message after the beep.”


15 comments:

Jen said...

I'm totally with you!

daverhea said...

So SO SO TRUE!! I love the ending! Great job Stephanie

Anne Bradshaw said...

Yay for all techy stuff! I agree with you 100%, Stephanie :-) There's nothing quite so fascinating as watching things happen on screen at the touch of a few keys.

Shawnette Nielson said...

Technology is taken for granted yet when I step back and THINK about it, like I did after reading your post, I realize how intertwined it makes us all. Your comment about the spirit of Elijah really hit home. Through this invaluable mode of communication we are able to touch so many! The world is shrinking and is becoming more accessable. Aren't we blessed!! You leave a message on my cell phone, I respond to your blog, and we connect through email. Communication is a wonderful thing! Thanks Steph.

sassy red said...

I agree! It makes life so much easier to keep in touch with family and friends:)
Cute V.T. card:)

LennyHarp said...

Amen Stephanie.!!! I was telling my visiting (from Texas A&M) Sister and Mom yesterday about visiting BJ and playing music. We have so many connections and most these days are thru technology. You and Jim and those kids of yours are great. Is Jim a Mountain Man this year? I just posted about Family today at http://lennyh.com

Stephanie Abney said...

Lenny ~

Good to hear from you. Jim has been really sick the last couple of weeks. He isn't going Mountain Man this year. (We are going to a sealing out of town). But back to the blog, it is really awesome how technology brings people together, like all the Flute Spirits who sent cards and letters and CD's, etc. after you posted about BJ online.
Love to you and yours!!

Mandy said...

I agree the vastness of it all overwhelms me at times. It truely is amazing. Love the ending keep writing you are awesome.

Brad and Whitney said...

To be quite honest, sometimes I get entirely too frustrated with our technological world and long for the "simple days" that I've heard about but never been privy to. You know, the type of days that existed during pioneer times. So... I'm extremely grateful that I read this post. I still think that it is too easy to get distracted in this fast-paced world, but I, too, am grateful for all the technological advances in our world. Thank you for making me more aware of the blessings they afford us!!

LennyHarp said...

As I would return to the Valley of the Sun after a week in the wilderness with Anasazi Young Walkers and staff, I remember a couple of times thinking how I loved my time out in the mountains away from society, yet rejoyced in the return to a marvelously organized community. I would be driving in from Globe and Superior east of Mesa, and coming into AJ and then Mesa on the 60 I would marvel at the cooperative enterprises that had to take place for such a large community to be built and to keep running so smoothly as ours does.

For the last 2 years I have worked at Intel and Frescale, both manufacturing computer chips for cutting edge technology. That same feeling is there in the buildings often with a million square feet of production area and a matching amount of support area, where a constant flow of workers keeps production going for at least 50 weeks out of the year day and night. I often think of the many great intellects who collaborate in designing and developing and producing these intricate chips of silicone, metals and numerous exotic materials, that think for modern technology.

Oh yes, for those wilderness to city treks, love was in the air as my usual passengers were Matt and Amy.

kersten campbell said...

Your right! And I DO love your ending!!!

Becky said...

I love the convenience of it all....we can all do it on our own time. And well said, Stephanie!

Stacie Robinson said...

I agree with you! It is so nice to connect with everyone!

Teri said...

It's sad that we have become sooo busy that the only time we communicate is at family parties and on the computer. We have two primary girls that go to your school, Rinsley Phelps, and Abby Houghton. Hope all is well with you and your family, give Jim a hug for me. I love you guys!

JoAnn Arnold said...

I'm playing catch-up on my e-mails but I had to tell you how much I enjoyed and agreed with your post. After 48 years, I am reconnecting with my highschool graduation class through Facebook. It is great.

Also, I loved your card. (It's humor is also so true.)