Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who is the family communication collaborator in your family?

Who is your family communications collaborator? When was the last time you updated your contact info?

Early this morning my mother was in a car accident. Not her fault and she was not scheduled to work today...just required to attend a mandatory meeting. First message was at 6 AM I could hear noises in the background but figured she was at her workplace and accidentally hit the phone to call me. The first words of the message were, "Do not drive home, just call J, I am OK, car is totaled." When I did speak to her for a minute, I could tell the pain medication was working.

I started with messages to family and friends telling them I would keep everyone updated but keep the calls to the minimum because she was in the emergency room. Thankfully, I have some awesome neighbors in Augusta (Thanks Ron and Dot). They went to visit my mother in the hospital, where she had been admitted but was out of the room for a cat scan. After she returned, they called me from her room and I could hear her in good spirits in the background. DD showed up later and took a picture. As promised, I did not post the picture for the world to see but did share it with a few family members who have data plans on their phones and email for those who do not.

So it turns out, she has a broken leg and a possible fracture in the C2 vertebrate. My mother is also the oldest of 14 children, so you can only imagine the number of family members. Using a variety of tools, we all seem to connect when one family member or another needs thoughts, prayers, recognition, and/or thanks...but you can imagine the diversity of options to contact everyone. Thankfully I have two proactive aunts (Thanks Aunt Laura & Aunt Lois) geographically separated but keep connected to multiple family members primarily through email or voice calls.

So between GMail w/Gchat and video, Twitter,, Facebook, and minimum number of voice phone calls the message was distributed. When I looked at the various tools used I wondered, "Who is the family communications collaborator in your network? Who would have been left out of the information loop if only one method of communication was used? When was the last time you updated your family contact information with family, school, or place of employment?"

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