Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Power of the Microphone

I remember being struck once by the change that comes over people when you hand them a microphone.  A shy, hesitant person can be transformed (if you can get them to take it in the first place) into someone who will not stop talking.  I suppose it has to do with hearing their own voice, and realising that they are actually heard, they don't have to make an effort to fight against the noise around them.  I guess the same is true in Karaoke, ask someone to just sing and they'll struggle, hand them a microphone and they'll sing, even if it's out of tune.  That's my experience anyway.

I sang a solo of a hymn at my wedding.  I had never sung a solo before - it's not the kind of thing I do, but I needed to do this.  When I stood in the church for the first time to practise, I was very nervous.  As soon as I was handed the microphone, however, I felt different, and I belted out the hymn.  This was to the relief of my fiance who had been concerned for two reasons - (1) he didn't know the song and was worried I would embarrass him singing something sentimental (he's a northerner) and (2) because he'd never heard me sing before!  The point is the microphone empowered me.

I feel like Blogs do the same thing - and social media in general too, I suppose.  People speak, and when they realise they are listened to (if they are listened to), they speak some more.  In the 'real world' our voices can get drowned out, but here - if we are found amidst the many - we have the stage, we have the microphone and our voice is clear.  Some of it will be pointless, some of the time perhaps I should have kept quiet, but some of the time I hope I will share things with people that they will be enriched by, and so I have made good use of my voice.

I will set myself one rule though - don't hog the microphone.  I will look for other voices to listen to.

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