[saymaListserv] electronic communications

Keiter2b at aol.com Keiter2b at aol.com
Fri May 26 12:18:07 JEST 2000

Dear Friends,

Some thoughts on electronic communication and the SAYMA list serve:

I am grateful that Joey Hess has been willing to share his expertise and 
equipment to make electronic communication possible.  Has SAYMA made an 
effort to express its appreciation?

I am grateful that Mary Calhoun works to use this tool for communication and 
to reach out to those in our scattered Meeting.  Do we support her in this 

Do we use our gift of the SAYMA list serve in a way that reflects Quaker 
values?  Sometimes less effort seems to be made to season messages than would 
be expected in Meeting, letters, or even personal conversations, and yet the 
message can be instantly copied and sent to many—reasons for a more careful, 
rather than a less seasoned correspondence. 

Does the use of electronic media for communication make personal interactions 
more impersonal and anonymous?   On the highway, this sort of anonymity has 
contributed to out-of-character behavior with ordinarily courteous, 
thoughtful people behaving in aggressive, thoughtless ways.  Are we seeing 
this same character change on the electronic highway?

I am concerned that some Friends who do not share this technology may feel 
left out—already, I hear in our Meeting an unwillingness to take on certain 
positions of responsibility due to lack of access to computer communication.  
At least one Monthly Meeting’s Statement of Practice requires computer access 
and a particular software program for its Treasurer.

Computer equipment is expensive and computer expertise even more so—How can 
we use such technology and maintain personal testimonies of simplicity?  

Communication is rapid—How do we season our responses on issues important to 
Friends?  Do we show the same concern for the recipient that we would should 
we meet face to face?  Are we careful to proof communications to assure that 
addresses and messages are appropriate? Do we take time to be careful and 

Beth Keiter

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