Communication is Key

Friday, September 23, 2016

Communication. Is that even a thing anymore? Growing up in the 80s, and even in the early 90s, the only way to communicate with someone was by phone or email....much later in the 90s for this mama. You either sat on the phone for hours, dragging that 25 foot telephone cord around the room or you wrote someone letter. But the thing about it was, you were communicating.

Today, there are entirely too many ways to communicate. You can call them (does anyone do that anymore), leave a voicemail, send them a text, send an email, or write a Facebook message. I love the quote from He's Just Not That Into You when Drew Barrymore's character says "I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control. And I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn't. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting." I miss those days too! Well, not the being rejected by a guy part, but the simplicity of getting a hold of someone. And, the idea that someone will actually respond.

Has anyone else noticed that no one communications anymore? I would say of the roughly 10 messages I may send a day, maybe one person responds. One! No text messages returned. No email responses. No Facebook reply, which by the way I see you read. Nothing. And, I can't for the life of my figure out why. One might say that it's generational. But I disagree. People my age, and even older, are no longer communicating. Whether it's personal or business, I can't seem to get a response. And maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one the non receiving end, but I know that's not true. I just had a conversation with someone one the other day who said she's experiencing the same thing. And like me, she simply doesn't get it.

I could be very old school in my thought process, as it appears everyone uses the "I'm so busy" excuse. I'm just as busy as the next person. I'm raising a five year old, running a household, building a business, and involving myself in my child's school. If I don't have a meeting at night, I'm working on this blog. I don't have a conventional job where I work 8-5. I have a job that starts at roughly 6:30 in the morning and ends around 9:00 at night when I can finally sit down to do a little more work on something I didn't get to during daylight hours. But, I will always respond to an email. I will return a text. And I will reply to a Facebook message. It may not be within 10 minutes of receiving it, but it will be within the 24 hours of when it was sent. It's just common decency. 

So what can we do to eliminate this lack of communication? Do we just ignore that fact that people are ignoring us? Do we accept the new norm that someone may or may not return your message? Do we just walk around in life with a full voicemail box, unread emails, and just hope that the person on the other end is fine without our lack of response? Again, maybe it's just me. Maybe I need to get on the no response bandwagon and just ride it for a while. Maybe it will feel good to not carry the guilt that I didn't get around to responding. That I hope you didn't need an answer quickly because I just simply ran out of time. Or, just simply didn't want to respond. That makes me really sad.

So on this Friday, I'm going to make an effort to shake off the feeling of being ignored. And I'm going to challenge you to take a few minutes and respond to something that someone has sent you but is still sitting in your inbox, or text app, or Facebook message. It doesn't have to be anything I've sent you. Just something that someone has sent you and it's been at least three days since they sent it. The person awaiting the response will be so pleased. And, it might make you feel a little better in that you can check something off your ever growing to-do list! 

If you need a few suggestions on what you might say to some of these unanswered forms of communication, here are a few I've come up with. If someone has asked you to participate in something and you don't want to, respond back with a No. It's better than not responding at all. If you feel really strongly about not participating, say Hell No. If you're tired of getting their emails, texts, or Facebook messages, tell them to remove you from their distribution list. It's like when telemarketers call and you want to be removed from their call list. It may not be the response they were looking for, but you at least responded!

As for friends who've sent you something, be a little more tactful. Lie if you have to, but at least let them know you got their message and that you simply don't have time. They will appreciate it, I promise. And another sweet gesture would be dropping them a little something in the mail that isn't a bill! I love getting mail that isn't a bill. A little card letting them know you are thinking of them. Something so special goes a long way. Or, even go with an e-card! Remember when people used to send those? I plan to send at least five today! Can you?

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you have a grand plans for the weekend. Hope to see you back here on Monday!


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