Communication – The Revolutionary Word
With phones, emails, text messages, and social media, the people we want to reach are constantly accessible to us—as we are to them. But as a result, the number of messages to which we are expected to respond in any given day has increased exponentially. And the natural consequence of this increased traffic is that we put less thought, and often less content, into our communications. We communicate our thoughts in acronyms, initialisms, emoticons, and often-unpunctuated ramblings. Our writings are often seen for what they are—short and to-the-point. But our borderline curtness sometimes raises questions about what we intended to communicate between the lines. What was our tone? What is our emotional state? Our readers feel comforted when these things are clear in our communications to them. But with 140 characters, who has time or space to convey emotion or to assuage our readers that we are satisfied with their contributions? So our readers are left to try to read between the lines, looking for the hidden message in our brief communications. I too have reread emails countless times trying to read between the lines looking for –what? I don’t know—signs of approval, dissatisfaction, disagreement, appreciation? I have spent 20 minutes trying to decipher a three-sentence email. But you can bet the drafter of the email took a fraction of that amount of time drafting the message. The truth is that there is no hidden message. It just is what it is: a short email drafted swiftly that contains a simple message. In an age when most people do not even check their messages for typos, why are we so convinced there is some secret meaning embedded in everyone’s brief messages? That’s silly. Let’s stop wasting precious minutes in the day trying to decipher what we have convinced ourselves are cryptic messages. Instead, put that time to better use: spell-checking our own emails! Have a wonderful week my friends.