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Or: Was ‘Snail Mail’ actually more efficient?

‘The problem with communication is the illusion that it’s taking place.’

C.E. Crawford

The sad thing is that this seems to be proving truer every day. Seriously, think about it? OK, maybe try this?

Looking at your phone, how many “functions/apps” do you use (on this singular device) to communicate with others?

I can tell you that on mine, I use at least 7. A couple of those are for VoIP calling as well as messaging – you know the ones (WhatsApp and Telegram for starters), along with a plethora of others.

No! Wait, I’ve already missed 2 – that’s 9!… 9! Seriously, how on earth did we ever manage to communicate before? Oh wait, that’s this post.

So, that’s kind of my point; as well as making the quote above so poignant. Which really is sad. Do we actually communicate anymore?

I think Simon and Garfunkle said it best back in 1965:

‘People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening’

Simon and Garfunkle – The Sound of Silence

Please. Go. Listen. I’ll wait. No, actually listen to the words of this (singularly brilliant and affecting) song. Was it happening already? Even without mobile phones (certainly not as we know them now, anyway), this was already something being experienced.

(That’s 12 now! I wonder if certain types of social media are really communication platforms though, or just badly disguised self-promotion platforms soap boxes)

And I know I seem to be picking on mobile phones, but it’s really a case of everything; every tool/platform/device that we have available to communicate now. Though, we no longer do. Do we all write minutes in meetings? Does anyone action them/chase them up? Does anyone own them? (Although, that’s another post still to be written).

After all this, I’m starting to think that I am utilising yet another platform for that very same thing; the soapbox! Although I want to actually communicate something. I want to hear and be heard, and better yet be acknowledged. Isn’t that what we really want?

Whether in work, home, socially, we want to be acknowledged and understood. So, maybe we really need to start talking ‘with’ people, not to them. And certainly not ‘at’ them!

In bringing this back to the heading; I want to bring this to the workplace specifically. If you’re a member of an agile team, a wider business function, or have the ability to enable mass communication throughout the workplace, stop. Think. Is this really the best way to get someone to actually listen to you? Or anyone to get back in contact with you?

Maybe you should write a letter…

‘There are over a thousand ways to communicate in our world today. It’s a shame that we don’t connect. So if you also feel the need to come together, will you communicate with me?’

Communicate – TLC

/B