I have woken up to multiple ‘good morning’ messages. Many are quotations in various fonts –
- Of blessings, prayers and tips, on how to lead a better life;
- Quotes placed on backgrounds of pretty images, paintings, nature’s beauty from across the world;
- Video clips of ‘wellness’ gurus giving a capsule dose on the secrets of leading a better life;
- Excerpts of songs – either with just the audio or with images, on various nuances of life.
I browsed through them with mixed feelings; happy that I had these people in my social circle. The individual messages especially made me feel warmer, because they had a personal thought behind pressing the ‘send’ arrow.
At the same time I did not invest much attention on them. With a cursory glance they were deleted. The communication seemed incomplete, not really leaving any dent.
Many of the forwards were repetitions from other groups or individuals and I deleted them almost on default mode; not worth wasting time on; and also because they clogged up the phone.
Blindly pressing the ‘forward’ arrow means one is not thinking of the receiver.
Why do we send these messages?
Habit, ‘time pass’, genuine desire to reach out, to feel a sense of belonging and connection, the need to share something that we find meaningful or beautiful – it could be some or all of these or even other drivers.
What kind of messages actually caught my deeper attention?
I realised there were a couple that were sent on a group which were impactful.
One had the individual taking personal pictures of a feature from her garden and writing a catchy caption with it. Her posts elicited multiple responses from the group members. There was engagement; And a gap day from her end was noticed and missed.
More interestingly, the posts led to further conversations. For example, a picture of a fresh crop of lemon, mangoes or even an unusual flower led to exchanges of sharing of recipes using the vegetable or fruit; comments with personal nostalgia were triggered by the image; discussions on the details of the flower; or the sharing of some other picture taken by a group member, who felt enthused.
It generated curiosity, bonhomie and genuine connection.
Another individual sent videos and messages that highlighted gentler, softer and happier events – a healing balm of hope in the troubled world around us. These were uplifting and set the mood for the day.
What makes a ‘Good Morning’ message interactive?
What I gathered was that there was a healthy dose of the person in the message that generated conversation.
Instead of an impersonal ‘forward’ the person had taken time and trouble framing it and had enjoyed the process.
Over time an individual may develop a kind of ‘niche’ message style that we associate with the person, that makes the message unique and personalised. That however does not mean cramping the person to sending only one kind of message.
At the start of a day we respond better to messages that spell hope, cheer and are relatable.
How can we get the elusive personal stamp on messages that we may be in the habit of sharing?
1. A little home work
Give some thought to why we want to send the message first thing in the morning. It is the start of a new day.
- What impact will the message have?
- Would I like to receive the same message?
- What do I do with the stereotypical impersonal images and words that are sent to me?
- When I see certain names of the senders, do I automatically and mechanically press the delete button without giving the post a second glance? Why do I do this? How can I ensure that receivers of my posts do not do the same?
2. Who am I sending the message to?
For example, for some people who have very limited opportunity to step out of their homes, connection with people through phones is essential.
It is possible that the good morning message means that they are remembered and has a lot of emotional importance. Suddenly stopping it might lead to causing hurt.
In such cases, along with the messages, it would be even more relevant if I make the effort of calling on some days to wish the person.
3. Is my message suited to the audience?
People go through all kinds of experiences. I need to be sensitive to this so that the message does not appear to be cheeky or inappropriate. For example, a message that sounds like I ‘know it all’; or messages about going for healthy walks, to a person who is bedridden.
4. To make my posts ‘mine’ I need to put a bit of me into it.
A greeting from ‘me’ to ‘you’. Creative, meaningful and worthwhile for the receiver and me to spend time on. It also shows respect for the viewer.
I need to know what is important to me, what I feel deeply about and what I want to share with others.
5. A short message and not a preachy one.
It must be genuine. Hollow and shallow words are easy to see through. I do not need to send a message everyday like a compulsion.
If I have the time, the content and the desire, I could send posts suited to the group or the individual; and space the days, so that it is not a burden for me; and I do not get repetitive. It also allows me the opportunity to explore different aspects of myself.
For example, there is a lot of emphasis on the need for gratitude to better our mental health.
What if I use a little bit of time on some mornings to think of something that I am grateful for and post that as my wake up message?
It serves a dual purpose. Experiencing gratitude is a deeply rewarding emotion for myself. Expressing and sharing it makes it a richer feel for me; and, it is possible that a receiver too relates to it.
Perhaps, I could get more adventurous on some days and add appropriate visuals with some of my lines.
Someone I know takes exquisite pictures of the sky in different seasons, at various times of the day, capturing multiple moods and gives a caption with it. And the lines are a reflection on life too.
Yet another captures images of funny, touching, interesting sights on the street and posts them with suitable lines as ‘thought for the day’.
The bottom line is that the message should be sincere. Ideally, at the start of a day, it is nice to receive a positive message.
My happiness is infectious and will get passed on through my posts.
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