There are so many ways to connect with people these days and everybody seems to have a preferred method, which usually does not interface with my preferred method.
Just 20 years ago, you had a couple of choices, and deciding which one to use seemed much clearer. If you wanted to talk to somebody, you called them – on their home phone if it was a personal call or at work if it was about business. You didn’t often call people at work for personal and rarely, rarely called people at home for business. You had the option of mail for sharing letters and business materials. You could fax for special documents or faster (read overnight) responses.
Now, even deciding to use a phone creates all sorts of decision making and also requires the knowledge of how that person wishes to communicate.
Do I call your home number? Do you even have a land line? Do I call your cell phone for a personal call whether you may be in the middle of a work meeting or not? Do I use your cell number to text you instead because while you don’t answer your phone, you do respond to texts? Do I never call you at all because you only text or respond to emails? Do I never email you because you get too many of those and would prefer I use your cell? Do I not email you but Facebook message you instead or, if it is business related, should I message you via Linked-In? Can you Skype somebody if you see they are online? Are they now only tweeting – in which case we will have to give up any contact at all because I just don’t get Twitter.
For me, I have a cell but am not overly attached to it, forget to charge it and rarely think to look for texts. Call me at home/work or email me and I will respond.
My partner does not ever wish to receive another email because checking three or four different email addresses which are all clogged is overwhelming. Try cell? Text? And now, we seem to be trying to message using Skype.
A couple I know say don’t bother to call their land-line ever because they are rarely home and never check their voice mail on that line so use one of their cells or email. Another friend says don’t email/Link-In/Facebook as they only respond to calls or texts, but only when they are not travelling.
Some older folks aren’t comfortable with calling cell phones because the “mobile” part of mobile phone intimates that the callee is busy doing something, oh like driving or working, and therefore probably shouldn’t be interrupted. This drives others crazy because their cells are their preferred method and nobody uses a home phone anymore.
It is enough to make your head spin.
If this confusion wasn’t, the beliefs and assumptions we each have that we hold as truth states that everybody should do things the way we prefer to do them. If I like to communicate via email, then this is the correct way and everybody should do it this way and I continue to email everybody and get irate when the text preferred people don’t respond. Then those texters try to text my home phone because I don’t use my cell, and I can’t figure out the robot voice and because everybody has about seven different numbers, I can’t even recognize the number of who has just texted me.
So now in our memories or in our contact lists, we need to have another category – preferred method of receiving communication. Before I pick up the telephone, I need to check to see if I should be calling you and, if so, how – home, work, cell and possibly even work cell or personal cell, or should I be texting, tweeting, Skyping, emailing or Facebooking? Forget it, I’m now too confused to care about delivering my message.
It is a miracle we are making contact at all. Notice I’m not calling this communicating because that is a whole other topic!!!!!