The School of Athens - Raphael

Tommy, can you hear me?

Communicating vs. Broadcasting

When I send you a text message, I’m communicating with you. I’m reaching into the space between the two of us to check in with you, to inquire after your health and good fortune. I ask about the kids, are they well? Your lover(s) too? Good. Yes, I as well. Let us share tales of our adventures. I appreciate our communication. You enhance my headspace. Thank you.

When I post to Facebook, I’m broadcasting. I’m standing on my virtual roof and shouting, “I had pizza for breakfast and it was delicious!” to my virtual neighbors who may or may not give a rodent’s hindquarters about my dietary habits or opinions. Some will care. Some will share. Some will care and share so damn often that you might start to consider communicating with them. They might be an ally.

When we forget that there’s a distinct difference between communicating and broadcasting with each other, we’re in trouble.

Our President-elect (pending the electoral vote, fingers crossed) has no concept of the difference between broadcasting and communicating. He and about 4 billion of us on this crazy, mixed-up planet all need to recognize the crucial differences between communicating and broadcasting in our collective social media age. Things that we might text to a friend are not always appropriate for Twitter, Mr. Trump. It’s like that invitation to an online Tupperware party from your old flame or the generic holiday card from your bank, certain lines are really best not crossed.

Churches rely heavily on their ability to broadcast to the masses but it’s the communication that keeps people coming back. Let’s be honest, most religions have been broadcasting the same message for so long that no one really needs to be reminded of the basics anymore. It’s the details that trip us up and while one-size-fits-all broadcasts can be very helpful from time to time, they’re no substitute for sitting down with a teacher who is 100% focused on your specific needs.

That’s part of the inspiration behind WPHA!, I decided to cut back on the broadcasts and focus on the communication. Only time will tell how that all works out.

Today, as we stand on the edge of December, I want to ask you to join me in making a commitment to communicate with each other a little more, maybe even a lot more if we can manage it. We need not necessarily broadcast less (though my own disconnecting from Facebook was a very positive healing experience for me, hint hint, nudge nudge) but we need to be careful that we aren’t confusing the two. When we communicate from our hearts, our relationships can be pools of mutual healing energy; from a phone call with an old friend to a coffee date with our sisters to a fireside chat with your priest or priestess. Replacing these vital conversations with political memes and random pleas for sanity in an insane world is a recipe for heartache.

OK, go ahead and text someone you love, right now. Just because. Please?

Thank you.

May your heart sing and your relationships bloom.

1 thought on “Tommy, can you hear me?”

  1. Oh my! This is an amazing piece of writing, and a wonderful message! I absolutely LOVE this one so much! And I will be communicating that through a text message, but I also wanted to broadcast my feelings here. 😉

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