Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creative Communicating - Roommates

When you live somewhere, you tend to communicate with those around you out of necessity, comfort, and social behavior. And to figure out each other. With roommates, this talking, with or without words, tends to be immediate. Ground rules need to be established (or gradually learned), especially about sharing things, when to fall asleep/wake up, bringing guests to the room, sexiling, hanging out, etc.

Other than that, the communication between flatmates can be sparse, on-the-fly, and second- or even third-handed. I have one solution.

Recently I MacGyvered a simple device to help with one of the levels of communication with a roommate. Whenever I'd come back to my room and my roommate wasn't there, I never knew quite where he was, other than the ambiguous, "out." So, I decided to make an interactive message system for the inside of the door. You just place your name next to where you'll be.

I dub it the Status Board*.

If I find the time/parts, I want to rig a clock to look like my Status Board, but you move a designated hand to "times," which will be substituted with similar phrases. Yes, I know this is from Harry Potter, but mine won't be magic-driven or self-updating.

Also, I'll soon have a system in place for the outside of the door, with coded signs so that we know if the other person is sleeping--and thus needing to enter quieter than usual--or not enter at all because of being'd all be coded because seriously, the "sock on the door" signal is a little conspicuous and scandalous.

Another way to keep up-to-date with your roommate is texting. I use it the most when I'm out and about because it's almost instantaneous, but the Status Board works best at the times you're just down the hall in the bathroom.

Texting can feel too impersonal and too personal at times.

* - The Status Board is made of a piece of cardboard from a surge protector box, Sharpie, statuses, Post-It Notes, and creativity.

1 comment:

  1. "Texting can feel too impersonal and too personal at times." --You could almost write a whole paper on this one idea...