“Get off the phone!” I used to hear that a lot as a teenager. Though parents still say that to their kids today, it has a new meaning. When I was told to get off the phone it was because I was talking. Today, kids are more likely shooting off rapid fire text messages and tweets rather than making a phone call. And, it’s not just kids. With smart phones becoming the norm, adults are constantly checking email and text messages. Email can be a blessing and it makes work easier – can you imagine getting anything done without it? But, email is a two-edged sword – in some ways it makes life easier, in other ways it makes it more difficult. “How?” you ask? Three words: Phone Call Avoidance.
There is a growing phenomenon where people hide behind their keyboards and computers – especially when it comes to difficult and important topics. And it’s funny, the really pressing issues – the ones that are important, or need an immediate response or answer – are the ones that get text messaged/emailed most often. What to do? It’s simple: A lady knows there are times that require a phone call.
Read on for particular examples of when picking up the phone is the way to go.
The Break-Up / Date Canceling
Some of my single lady friends tell me their dating horror stories and I’ve been noticing a trend: breaking up via text message or email. This is not a gender issue – men and women are both guilty of doing it. I’m here to tell you that a lady does not engage in such practices. Rather, she is always honest and up front, and doesn’t hide behind a keyboard. In situations like this the “Golden Rule” applies – how would you want someone to break up with you? Over a text? An email? I didn’t think so. Pick up the phone, or better yet, do it in person, but never, ever do it in a text message or email.
Time Sensitive Issues
A few weeks back I was working on an important deadline and I was waiting on some information from a colleague. The colleague kept sending me emails and we kept going back and forth with email to the point when I just sent him an email asking him for his phone number because it was getting really ridiculous. First, we were on a deadline so there were lots of pressing questions that were coming up and I needed immediate answers. Second, the amount of time it took to go back and forth with email probably took 4x longer than the actual phone call. Most of the time, email is efficient. But, there are times when picking up the phone and having a conversation is the best way to go. Learn to distinguish when email is helping you and hindering you.
Issues Important To You
Sometimes you need to talk about something important to you with a loved one or friend. Often times, writing seems better because your thoughts are clear and you can review your work. But, there’s something very impersonal and passive-aggressive about writing your thoughts, rather than speaking them. If it’s an important personal matter then deal with it in person – by talking – not typing. Relationships are built on trust, understanding and communication. The relationship is not going to go very far if you have to hide behind a keyboard every time something important or difficult comes up.
Text messages and email definitely have their place in modern communication. It’s important to realize though, that text messages and emails are not meant for every situation. Learn to distinguish what situations are best for different forms of communication. The pen/keyboard may be mightier than the sword, but nothing tops personal interaction. Put the people back into personal and know when to pick up the phone.
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