Remember the song from that old commercial… I think it was Ma Bell before the break up… Reach out, reach out and touch someone…. or maybe it was Hallmark cards—I don’t know. Anyway… it struck me the other day as I was driving downtown… how many people were talking on cell phones. They were in their cars, standing on sidewalks, getting gas… everywhere I looked someone was chatting it up. Reach out, reach out…. but don’t touch no one… I know it’s poor English, but you get the point.
It seems to me that we live in an age when emails, cell phones, text messages, facebook, twitter and all sorts of social media are everywhere for us to use… so we can reach out… but don’t touch no one…. don’t actually have an encounter… face to face… always something technological in between… which makes for some strange and sometimes misunderstood communications…
For example… if you have 4,000 followers on twitter does that mean you are really popular? I have thousands of followers myself but they were created by some auto script I stuck on my account. The followers don’t mean a thing… it’s just a number. And facebook – yes I have an account with friends and fans… but with just a few exceptions… these are people who know people I know… but they’re not friends.
When I need to deal with a difficult question with a client, email is an avoidance tactic. Too many times the words you write can be easily misunderstood. Phone calls are best, and face to face even better. Reading someone’s eyes when they speak tells far more than their typing innuendos. CAPITAL LETTERS in email mean I’m SHOUTING at YOU! Wouldn’t you much rather have me just scream in your ear? Huh?