Friday, January 29, 2010

Communications and Technology Part 3: It's still just a letter

There is something about communication through technology that makes us dumb. Don't believe me; check your email inbox over the last week. How many inspirational messages did you receive from friends asking demanding you to forward this email to (X) number of people or

a. your wish won't come true
b. you truly don't care about the sender
c. the liberals terrorists will win (just a reminder I'd classify myself as liberal minded)
What the hell is up with people? How in the world can you not reply to simple emails, yet you freely forward this crap.

I receive on average 3-5 chain emails from my father a week. I'd classify most of them as agenda focused emails disguised as inspirational messages. I asked him why he would send me crap like this. His response, well I just wanted to say hi. WHAT??? I explained to him a simple 2-3 line email would take care of that much easier and be far more personal. I'm still waiting for one of those emails. Now this is a man who sits 5-6 hours a day in front of the computer. I realize he may not be the best typist in the world but I know that even with the hunt and peck method, it's not overly difficult to bust out a "Hey, how are you doing" email.
Outside of my father, I see all sorts of things with people and personal emails. I have one friend that claims he doesn't know what to say in emails, so he responds with one word answers or doesn't respond at all. It boggles my mind.

I work for a technology company, I've had a computer since I was 8 years old, so I know I'm not typical when it comes to understanding technology.

Another thing I don't understand is why I can send out a mass email to people inviting them to a party and get one or two responses. I understand everyone isn't always able to confirm or reject right away, but does it really take that long for them to type 'Not sure what my plans are, I'll let you know" and then once they know send off a quick response?

I realize people don't always have time to respond that it can take some time to type something up, but how much time are we really talking about for quick reply to an invite or for forwarding garbage emails? Is it longer then typing a quick note that says 'hi' or picking up the phone and talking for a couple minutes?

My one suggestion to people is write a note sometime to someone you haven't talked to in awhile.  Someone who is in your address book, but maybe you haven't spoken with in years.  At worst they don't respond, but maybe they will and you get a chance to reconnect and remember that what actual communication is.

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