Appropriate Media: MH370 and Geriatric1927

The text sent to the families of those lost on Malaysian Flight MH370 has been widely criticized for being insensitive.

In contrast, the last blog of Geriatric1927 was incredibly touching: ‘In conclusion, I would say my possibly final goodbye. So goodbye.’ Here is his last YouTube video. If you don’t have 5 minutes, listen to the last minute. Peter Oakley died a month later at 86 years of age.

Any media can be used appropriately or inappropriately, but there is no simple principle about face-to-face communication always being the best medium. I recall when sending a short telegram of congratulations was one of the greatest messages you could convey. Likewise a text message can be a perfect way to contact a close friend if used well and with sensitivity.

Hopefully, the MH370 text will remind many to consider the potential impact of what we say on any medium, whether a tweet, a text, a call, a Webcast, or a conversation – and also to forgive people we they get it wrong.  Image