Back in the days when we communicated at work via office memos, I learned that my cryptic messages were often taken in a way I didn’t mean. Then, someone would get their feelings hurt or get mad and dissatisfaction would bloom like spring daffodils. There weren’t any problems before my memo. Just observations or changes that needed to be made. However, my writing created a problem.
Fortunately, the mess was easily solved. I walked to the person’s desk, sat down, and chatted face-to-face. Or, I picked up the phone and had a real back-and-forth conversation. In the end, this took less time than dealing with the backlash of the m
emo and resulted in ending most of the discontent.
Isn’t there something to be learned from the past? Today, we communicate via quick texts, short emails, and various social media. Isn’t there a huge chance that we’ll be misunderstood that way? Do we ever find out what the person we wrote to thought about what we said?
Yesterday, I got an email that I misinterpreted. I fired back a message that I now regret. Why didn’t I pick up the phone?
Do we shy away from phone calls these days? Do you ever place a phone call and hope it goes to voice mail so you don’t have to spend so much time with that particular message?
I admit that I’m practically addicted to all things digital. Nevertheless, I think I’ll be healthier if I go back to talking to people face-to-face or voice-to-voice. My phone is always with me, and long distance calls no longer cost per minute of talk time. I’m not so busy that I can’t learn to make short phone calls and treat myself to more social interaction. Less social media, more social interaction.