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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Did You Grow Up with a Party Line?

                  
On the ranch twenty miles from Milk River, we had a party line.     

Our closest neighbour was 9 miles away from our homestead.

We had to drive twenty miles to school every day, or just to go to town for necessities. The population then was around five to six hundred...counting babies!

Back to the party line.

For those who do not know what these were, they were a telephone line that went out to all the neighbouring farmers homes. Each home had one phone attached to the wall with a crank handle and a circular dial. Each farmer had his/her own special ring. Ours was two shorts and a long ring. When you heard your ring, you answered the phone.

The big drawback to this system was that everyone on the line could listen in on everyone else's call. So, when there was an emergency or a crisis, it did not take long for the word to get all over the country.  Even when there was not an emergency, people would just listen in to hear what their neighbours were up to. Talk about gossip! It really travelled...and we didn't even need the internet!

Move forward to our modern day and age, and today with the internet.

Not a lot different from the "party lines".

With the party lines, we got used to the fact that we had to be careful what we chatted about on the phone, because we did not know who might be listening.

Today with all our social media, we have to be just as scrupulous, if not more so, about what we share online. What we are trying to communicate in jest can come across as brash and cutting. Sarcasm never works well online. We can damage a relationship forever or lose our jobs with just a few whimsical key strokes.

Here is some food for thought. If it is something you don't want your mother-in-law or your boss or your spouse and kids to know about, perhaps it would be a good idea to leave it offline.

Social media according to Christine says that we should keep everything online on a professional level. Always watch how we say things and what we say. Yes, we can share some great stuff, but never anything that might be hurtful or damaging to anyone else or yourself.

We thought that the party lines back in the day were scary! The internet is a hundred thousand times faster and way more scary if not used judiciously.

A word to the wise...Yes, be on social media and email, but learn how to be your best self through them.

Social media according to the Marketing Mentress.

Christine Till
The LinkedIn Marketing Mentress
www.marketingmentress.com
marketingmentress@gmail.com