When we communicate, not only is what we’re saying important but also how we’re saying it. Think about how many text messages or social media posts you’ve read and understood them differently from how they were intended. There have been times when I’ve skim-read emails, assumed the general message of the email, and smashed off a reply only to re-read the email and realise I’ve given a response to what might as well have been a different original message!
In this communication age, we need to take extra care with the message we are transmitting and be aware of the medium in which we are sending it.
Look at it this way: I’m a communicator. I post online, through blogs and social media. I make simple videos such as my Bite-sized Bible series. Every single one of those messages, posts and videos has a different format, so what I communicate should be adapted to maximise understanding and reach in each channel. It would be no good just to read the words of the script and never look at the camera. It would be strange to reply to an email with a recorded video message.
I’m also involved with a local church, and I’m conscious that what I put out on the web is seen not just by Christians but by thousands of others with some faith or none. Our communication is transformed into a potential missional moment, one that could change the life of the one or the many.
The next time you’re communicating, take as much care thinking about the carrier (the medium) of your words as well as the message you are trying to convey. Understand the limitations and positively maximise the differences.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)