We have so many forms of communication at our fingertips, yet we still struggle to communicate our messages. With Instant Messenger, e-mail, text and phone, are there too many ways to communicate? Which method do you use, and when? Because we have so many methods for communication, are expectations for understanding and response too high?
IM at work can be your best friend or your worst enemy. When you need a quick piece of information, you just look for the little green dot next to the name of the person you are looking for, and voila – you can see if the person you need to contact is accessible or not. Maybe. Is the dot always accurate? Why is it green but the person isn’t responding to my question? Am I not on their priority list? Where are they? Why aren’t they answering me? So maybe e-mail is a better choice because you just assume it will take a while for them to get back to you, instead of an instant response. Remember when getting a response via e-mail was considered quick compared to a fax or letter? Does anyone even use a letter any more?
Then there is communication in the world of dating. “I texted him 2 hours ago and haven’t heard back,” a friend declares. Worse yet is the IM. You send your “hi” into the ether and then wonder why they didn’t respond. Is the green dot innacurate? Maybe they are out with another man? or woman? Do they have another lover? The mind could make you crazy with this scenario. The question is, why don’t we just pick up the phone and call? It clarifies a lot of communication issues. Why? There is something about the tone of a voice – the inflection. It gives you more of the message than just the words. Amazing that the ear really is detecting so much more than consonants and vowels – it conveys a feeling. A colleague told me a long time ago to smile when I am talking on the phone because the person on the other end of call could hear my smile. What? Hear a smile? Strange yet true.
Time for me to smile and call, text or e-mail someone. Since I have the ability to communicate I feel like I should. Sometimes silence is acceptable too. Imagine being alone with your thoughts for five minutes, or call to tell someone about it.