I have been a person that for years has reveled in the fact that my mobile phone was rarely used as a phone. I loved communicating via text. And I still do, but I’ve been thinking lately about how many times texting has sent the wrong message or been interpreted the wrong way.
Why do we do this? Words are words, right? But HA- that’s where things get tricky.
Yes- words are words. But even more important than words in communication is context. In context, most things make sense. But when you’re walking down the street and you think of something that is funny and you type it to your buddy and you get a WTF, it’s that lack of context or the ability to explain the context that is the root cause.
Or what about a message that ends with …?
I mean seriously, what does that mean?
I have heard that millennials take the … as a seriously passive/aggressive stance and that it’s used more by older people. And this is where it gets interesting- we are living in a time when there is more of a generational mix than ever before. People of very diverse ages are having to work with each other and, in many cases, use new technology as the main form of communication.
So how do you help make it better? Well, the issue happens when we assume things. You do it, I do it, we all do it. But we can take steps to mitigate the times where it makes an ass out of you and me. The easiest thing to do is ask questions.
Sure, sometimes you might feel stupid.
Are you unsure if you should ask? Ask!
Sure, you can reply to the text and ask, but how about picking up the phone and making a call. I’ve found that when I have a point, I can make the situation much more clear and much more quickly with an audible conversation.
And even better now is that you can FaceTime someone and see them!
Thanks for reading! Next time we’ll get into voice and tone!