Electronic Communication

I’m as big a fan of texting and IMing as the next gal. I frequently IM people sitting in the next room at work. Sometimes they are so close that I can hear the ding of my IM’s and their furiously typed responses. It’s kinda silly when you think about. As much as I am guilty of it, and think it’s the easiest way to communicate these days…I kinda miss “old fashioned” contact, you know, like the telephone, or GASP, seeing each other face to face…

I’ve made the following observations regarding electronic correspondence, specifically IM and text…feel free to dispute me on these but I think I have a fairly good frame of reference, both personally and professionally…

Instant Messenging
Remember the days you had to minimize your buddy list every time someone walked by your desk? Instant messenging was the way teenage girls communicated, not educated professionals. But like everything else, that’s changed! Now, my entire office is on IM and like I said before, we frequently IM rather than walk across the office. I will even admit to IMing someone in the same room as me (laziness at its best)! I think that while IM is a lot easier, it can sometimes get messy. Messy in that you can’t always tell the “tone.” Tone is important…think about it. Try saying a simple phrase, even one word…like “What” No punctuation, it could be rude, nice, shocked…how do you really know? I have often misread tone of IM’s and gotten angry for no reason. On the flipside, some people seem to be tone deaf, in that they cannot take a hint over IM. Let’s decode this one–ONE WORD ANSWERS, never a good thing. The one worder clearly does not have time or just plain doesn’t want to talk to you. ONE WORD FOLLOWED BY A PERIOD–even worse-period. And signing off on someone, for me, that’s like slamming the phone down in my ear. Not cool.

Texting
Yes texting is great, and ever since I got the Envy, I am applying my 10th grade master typing skills to messaging people at record speeds. But again, tone is difficult to read. Also, I strongly believe that texting should not replace conversations. Sure, it can be great when you just need to tell someone something and don’t want to get into a long conversation. But, if there is a convo to be had, than it should be a phonecall thing. I’ve gotten finger cramps from longwinded texting, not fun…

Furthermore, texting someone “hey”may be the single worst text ever. This relates back to people that call you and say “hey.” Either way, ‘hey” means nothing. If you have something to say, than say it. If you don’t, than save the hey for the…

Finally, I believe this applies to all forms of electronic communication. The one-sided message. For example, if someone only emails/IM’s/Texts you with what they’re doing/can do for you/have done etc. it doesn’t leave room for much response, and that’s even if you WANT to respond to the obviously selfish sender. Communication is a two way street and technology should only make it more efficient. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about here??

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