3. What’s Happened to the Way We Communicate?
There must be 50 ways to leave your lover
Why all this retrospection? There are a couple of important points to make:
- The choice of communication method has always been at least as important as the message – this dilemma is not simply a feature of the online age;
- However, there were fewer ways of avoiding a ‘difficult conversation’ in the old days; now there is a plethora of indirect messaging mechanisms, if you want to get a point across without making real contact.
Had the facility been available, it would have taken my boss two minutes to send me an email reprimand, cc’d (or worse still, the dreaded ‘bcc’) to the Finance Director. Much easier and quicker than getting an internal memo typed, signed and delivered. I’ve little doubt that he would have embraced email whole-heartedly for this purpose.
These days email and SMS messaging are ubiquitous and accepted by almost everyone as legitimate business communication channels. And there are many other ways of ‘pinging’ messages to people, using social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
But meaningful communication involves engagement with other human beings. Messaging does not.
Let’s explore the differences a little further.