I read an article today about a study of the effect of today's fast-paced communication media on the development of a moral conscience. If I read it correctly, the premise was that in conversations that take place in short spurts and require some sort of immediate comment or reply, the mind does not have the time to properly register a complete response: one that combines the intellectual understanding of the words with an emotional and moral conscience. According to the study, it takes time for that emotional response to kick in and the moral conscience to awaken. Therefore, the quick intellectual-only response may completely miss the underlying need for connection and understanding and not only mess up the rest of the day's twits and tweeters, but result in side effects that have bigger consequences than ever imagined.
If the premise of the study is indeed fact, then many people are daily experiencing something like the following: It's a typical workday and you tweet me (in x characters or less) that your spouse deeply wounded your sense of self that morning by not making you coffee. Without adding the words that would take you over the x number of characters, I am supposed to get the unstated meaning(.. and he KNOWS how important it is to the start of your day and how there is just not TIME for you to make coffee and get out of the house ready for work, and it's HIS job, just like it says on the chart of equally divided chores and besides, you KNOW it's really his way of saying, I love you, babe....) Really? All that in a nano-second? It would be so easy to just squawk out a response like: Get a grip! Stop whining and get yourself a Starbuck's!
A second or so later, the tiniest bit of Moral Conscience may seep into my response mechanism, especially when YOUR reply to MY reply features the word "friend," in reference to me, but definitely NOT in a friendly way. A little more MC begins to flow into my emotional arena and they travel together down my intelligence highway sending me a MESSAGE: I have NOT listened to the underlying implication in your obvious hysterical and illogical response to your spouse's apparent lack of respect and love toward you by leaving java out of your morning equation. Thus, my immediate and, I admit it, unempathetic, response to you, most likely added another gouge in your already damaged self-worth and caused you to assume I valued you as little as your spouse apparently did this am. Without taking the time to allow YOUR MC to kick in, you fired back an angry statement about my inability to BE a friend and who needs me anyway?
Because my MC was now really firing up, I did not stomp on that keyboard, but took time to evaluate and allow my inner being to be fully engaged in your emotional crisis. In doing so, I believe that I disproved that scientific premise that seems to precludes our ability to control our minds when we receive an x amount of characters that DEMAND we give immediate evidence of our presence and engaged intellect. We CAN control our minds with an override that tells our fingers to disregard the beeping message board. We can then take time to look within, to meditate instead on the messages our MC is sending us. THEN, and only then, can we get back with the Appropriate Response: "Girl, I'm running out RIGHT NOW to pick you up a latte...."