When Vine first appeared, I wondered, "What can you say in six seconds?" Dawn Siff's viral vine resume showed me that you can share a concise creative video version of yourself. I wanted to hire her! The vine graduation speeches by Bobby McFerrin and MC Hammer reminded me that short is sweet. Saying more is not always better.
Early in my relationship with my husband, George, we watched a comedian. He was explaining how women talk and how men listen. He said, "Talk like your cell phone is dying." This became a near mantra to George in our early dating career. It did help me understand how to talk so he could listen.
When my Internet was inadvertently turned off three weeks prior to moving out of our home, I learned that Twitter does work. 140 characters can say something important. Tweeting: "Can you hear me now? Day 4 with no Internet," inspired customer service to respond quickly to my concerns.
In Our First 100 Days as Newlyweds, Russell Nichols explains how Twitter taught him to be a better husband: 1. What Am I Doing? Twitter wants an update and so does his wife. At first, Russell is surprised at how many updates his wife requires but "it doesn't have to be an extended diatribe with every little detail. Just an update." 2. Direct Messages. For important things, "I need to make sure I'm saying it to her directly, with intention, to make sure she gets it." 3. ReTweeting. "It's easy to get caught up in yourself, in life and online." Retweeting helps Russell with the concept that "this person's words are worth restating." Marriage is about teamwork and it is crucial to acknowledge and validate others importance and perspectives.
4. Trending Topics. Comparing arguments that repeat to trending topics allows Russell to "identify recurring issues in our relationship and recognize patterns." With this clarity, he can take a non-emotional look at how to move forward in a new direction. 5. Hashtags. Related tweets are compiled by hashtags, which reminds Russell to "watch what I say and how I say it because it'll come up again." Keeping a record of what is important to your partner and seeing connections helps move a relationship from discord to understanding. 6. Following Each Other. Relationships are a dance. "There will be times when I'm steering the ship, and there will be times...to step back and let her lead." These six twitter tips really helped me think about how my relationship works and where it needs some 140-character therapy.
Technology like Vine, cellphones and Twitter allow us to communicate quicker but not necessarily with clarity. Using them well requires understanding your audience and that they discover your true meaning. My dad always told me about a sketch comedy where a blind man was screaming at a deaf man holding a sign. Sometimes communicating feels like I am participating in this without realizing it. Having these tools does not mean we use them well but with the help of a comedian, a book and a sense of humor I am making progress.
About the Author: Lisa Niver Rajna is co-author of Traveling in Sin and co-founder of We Said Go Travel. She has been on the road with her husband, George, since July 2012 and they are still communicating!