This topic has certainly generated a lot of interest. I have had private emails, Facebook discussions, comments, and phone calls from people I know. All in all the doors of discussing how we choose to communicate including embracing new technologies have been thrown wide open.
One friend reminded me that using a phone can cause misunderstandings also. She likes face to face contact but we don’t have the luxury of that. Her reminder though was that even on the phone what you say or how you say it can definitely come out wrong and you possibly may not know it.
She was talking about our tone of voice. We all know how good it feels when someone genuinely cares about something we said or did. We all know how a loving, caring voice sounds. On the flip side of that we also know what criticism or snideness sounds like too.
I consider yelling to be a change in the tone of my husband’s voice for example. He may not have raised the decibel level (yet) but his tone conveys anger, and that to me is yelling. He disagrees. It is MY perception. I am allowed to own it.
How we word things or form a question is also important. There are kind ways to say something, there are accusatory ways of saying things. Think back to our parents when we were an hour late coming home as teenagers. That is a pretty good example of an accusatory, unkind tone for sure in a lot of memories.
How we phrase things carries over to emails and texting also but in these instances we have choice. We can choose to come back to the email later. We can not send the text. We can re-phrase things or we can add text jargon or an emoticon to show if we are serious or not.
People vacillate on what the best way to communicate is these days, but the fact of the matter is if you don’t jump on the electronic age way of talking in some form while everyone else does, you could miss out on something very important. We all know caller ID helps to make a decision in answering the phone. As for emailing, well you have to go to your account to see what’s there but once you do, you can’t miss that you have a message. Texting is an excellent way to get a message or response out immediately.
In our business we attend seminar after seminar about this new wave of communication and we never leave a seminar where the advice is to stick with Ma Bell.
When I look at the demographics of Facebook users and at the reasons that many of the “older” users for example are on Facebook I am not surprised at all by the results.
922% growth in people over 55 is a huge figure. Mashable.com asked a question recently about why this growth? Many answered they are on FB for business reasons. Absolutely, this is the social network to be on for business for sure. Others love being able to communicate with their entire family. Having a party? How easy is it to “conference” about it on FB with everyone involved and not have to repeatedly play phone tag? Finding old friends is another reason that was listed, and I have found many old friends and new on Facebook. All of these reasons cross over to all age groups, that 922% growth is astounding though. Of course some people are afraid to take the plunge and maybe some people just don’t really want to communicate. The less arenas of communication they use, the less they have to “talk”.
Technology has given us all an out. We can ignore calls, we can ignore emails, and we can choose to not have a texting plan on our cell phones. Then we can go live in a cave and send up smoke signals right and hope Dominoes delivers.