As I've said before, I don't plan my blog ideas too far in advance. I write when I am inspired and lately, I've been inspired by communication.
So far this week I've failed to receive a voicemail. I missed one letter in an email to the recipient never got it. And I sent a text to a client that was meant for my husband (that could have been interesting!)
Now I'm writing a blog. How many modes of communication do we need? And can we do better? I think so. To me, nothing replaces face to face communication. Nothing. Call me old fashion. Hearing a person's voice fluctuations and seeing their facial expressions can never be replaced. It's also hard to reach through our phones and give a friend a hug or raise a glass to say "cheers" when you're not with them.
Texting and email leave too much room for question. We joke about how commas save lives at my house. "Let's eat, Grandma!" is different than "Let's eat Grandma!" Life is too short to be worrying if our text is taken the right way, or wondering why the recipient hasn't responded? Probably because they never got it. Here are a few tips when considering our modes of communication.
1. Stop assuming. Just because you sent it, doesn't mean they received it. If they don't respond in a timely manner, I would suggest following up. But be considerate at the same time, as we never know what might be going on in someone's life.
2. Think about how your message could be taken wrong if they can't hear your voice or see your facial expressions.
3. Ask yourself, "Would this be quicker or perhaps more meaningful if it was in person or over the phone?"
4. What are you scared of? Do you find it easier to say things behind a screen than you would in person?
5. What's important to you? And based on that answer, is the mode of communication appropriate?
6. Stop saying you're too busy. The truth is, we can all find the time to reach out if we really want to.
7. Try something you may not have done for a long time. Send a note in the mail! Don't you love getting a handwritten note? It's different than a "Happy Birthday" on a timeline.
I know I can do better, can you?