Communication Today and the Holidays

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us, each year it seems to arrive with just a blink of the eye. The other day I received my first Christmas letter by email. When I opened the attachment, it was written on a Christmas letterhead like you would receive in the mail. I found myself a bit taken back — and then I remember my first Evite, a word that didn’t exist a few years ago, and now I receive these with no judgment attached.

It got me to wonder in this world of ours today of around 7 billion people, is this social media making our lives easier or more complicated? The phrase itself: “social” meaning a sharing of ideas, opinions and images, and “media” being a place where a publication occurs.

Back in the day before today’s social media, we had to rely on books, newspapers, television and radio. We had a landline phone at home and a landline phone at work. Somewhere along the line, an answering machine came along.

This is how we communicated; there was only one phone company we had to deal with. And I can never really remember having any trouble with their customer service, which mainly consisted of changing our address when we moved. I can still remember as a little girl, going to our neighbor’s home and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on her TV, as ours was only black and white! And I remember hours of playing outside and setting up store and make-believe of what we would be when we grew up. And on a rare occasion we may go out to dinner to the 4B’s.

Fast-forward to today. It is not just social media, it is more like mass media. Where today, I still have a landline phone so I can find where I left my cellphone in my house. It brings a smile to my face as I years ago, sharing with my husband that I felt I needed a cellphone, and his reply, “Why?” Today, he can get a bit bothered if I leave my cellphone at home and he can not get a hold of me. Just crazy, all the stuff we have to keep track of via social media today.

The other day while watching TV, instead of directing me to their website, it directed me to their Pinterest page. Contractors are building Houzz pages for their clients to view and instead of having two or three television channels we have hundreds to choose from and many times I still can not find something I want to watch. When we moved into our home, we chose to go with cable so that I could watch TV literally in every room of the house if I wanted to, as long as I had a cable and an outlet, for no additional charge. Recently, as many of you have experienced, I was forced to down size my options in our home where we could watch television at unless I wanted to add a box for an additional charge/box/month.

Think of all the items we are inclined to keep track of on a daily basis: texts, emails — which may consist of more than one email account — voicemails, answering machines, faxes sent, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs … to just name a few of the more popular items that come to mind.

It is estimated that Facebook, a social media that I have been trying to stay away from, has more than 1 billion monthly users. I was listening to a Podcast the other day, and it is estimated that on an average we spend 5.5 hours on line each day. I recently added my picture to my Facebook and have had people daily wanting to be my friend, which means they will then be sending me more information to manage!

Are we all on information overload? Within seconds, we can have any recipe, article research, product information, find someone or go shopping, all while staying in the comforts of our homes, with a few finger movements on Google. Where, about 10 years ago, most of us were not using this tool yet, now today, try to live without it!

PC/Mac, iPad or that does not own at least two of these devices today, if not every person in your family. Over the course of the past two years, once I invested in my larger cellphone, I rarely use my iPad or a phonebook, and we are currently looking at abandoning our iPads for our field team and only having the larger iPhone.

With all this information and literally hundreds of other areas to get information from, at Central we want to make you life as simple as possible with one call!

Your comfort is our Central concern: call Central for all your heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical and drain-cleaning needs at 756-6656. We are here to make sure your holiday is stress-free.

Going to some holiday parties and want to bring a hostess gift:

Add a fun twist to giving a bottle of wine … buy a fun holiday dishtowel … center the wine bottle over the dish cloth with the pretty side facing down, pull up over top of bottle and tie with a pretty bow … add a little greenery and ornament to make it extra special.

Keep any soup cans… remove all wrappers, take a piece of burlap (or burlap ribbon) cut to fit around can, and just one inch less than height of can … secure with glue, and then you can layer various widths and colors of ribbon as you choose … fill with fun Christmas goodies.

I love holiday napkins, and nothing is more simple than taking a pretty holiday ribbon, tie nicely around napkin pack, and slip in a piece of Montana fresh greenery … add a candy cane or precious ornament.





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