LinkedIn messaging – Email – Texting – Instagram – Facebook Messenger – Phone
I pride myself on being open to learning new technology, new social media and new ways of communicating but I think I may have reached my limit!
Have you noticed that if you write a message to someone on LinkedIn, you may or may not hear back – EVER?! And LinkedIn now tells people that you’re on LI so they may have an expectation of hearing back from you immediately. I have LinkedIn open all day while I’m working but that does not mean I’m available! Messages in LinkedIn also go into your email box but slower than they appear in LI, so if you see and answer a question in LI because you got sucked into responding immediately, you will see that message again awhile later in your email.
This is my preferred mode of communication. I like to read it on my computer rather than my phone. I’m able to look at calendar dates, save attachments, copy information into a relevant file and touch type (or is that “touch keyboard” now?) my answers. I am an excellent and fast typist. I am not an excellent or fast texter. I will check email on my phone to see if there’s something time-sensitive that I can respond to quickly but otherwise, trust me, it’s worth waiting until I’m back on my computer.
***If I email my daughter, I may hear back eventually. If I email my son, I’ll hear back nearly as quickly as if I text. If I email my Board members (I’m on several Boards), I’ll rarely hear anything back. I love my clients who almost always respond back.***
For me, texting is best for quick communications such as confirmation, clarification or change messages or affirmations, e.g. I’ll be late, I have to cancel, I love you. It’s also great for one-way updates. I’m happy to receive long messages from my adult kids about what they’re doing this weekend and pictures from their activities. I do not like texting for two-way long chats, comparing multiple calendar dates for getting together, or detailed information (address, attendees, room set-up, etc.), especially when it’s a date in the future.
***My best friend uses voice recognition to text and I receive long, strangely broken up messages. But I love her so I’ll take what I get. For everyone else – sorry, I don’t care that much so email me or call me if you want an answer.***
I’ve asked clients to email me or phone and leave a message but please don’t text unless it’s a very brief message – e.g. running late, canceling an appointment, etc. I’m sorry but I can’t do complicated transactions by phone and for me complicated means I have to look at another app (calendar, email, etc.) before I can respond. And yet I still receive multiple texts.
I’m usually asked to speak for an organization by phone or email. I was recently asked to speak for one group by text and responded that I’d prefer to receive information by email after the initial response that I was interested. Texting info continued unabated, even with two additional requests from me to please email the info. (and yes, I tried emailing my contact and still no email.) I looked up how to forward texts to email on my Android phone and there were instructions saying I’d need to install the text to email app from Google Play. There were a hundred choices. The highest rated one included ads. I chose that, installed it and still couldn’t figure out how to forward text messages. I’m working on it. But should I have to?
***You might think this is a generationally-based problem but these examples are from Boomers, Millennials and Gen X’ers. I happen to adore those mentioned in my anecdotes here so give them a lot of latitude. For the rest of you, please don’t test me.***
My daughter only ever posts pictures and videos to Instagram Stories that disappear in 24 hours (just like Snapchat if you’re familiar with that.) If I want to see pictures from her life, I have to check daily if she’s posted something.
***For my children, I’ll do what it takes. I’m happy to have communication with them, however they’re willing to do it. For everyone else, I’m not quite as committed!***
Facebook messages show up as cute (or annoying) little bubbles on my phone. They also show up with a little “ding”. They may contain pictures that are too small for my aging eyes to see. They may be the same kind of quick message that’s normally sent by text. And oops – If I move that bubble picture out of the way, it’s forgotten – did I remember to respond? Ack!
I get quite a few spam calls so unless your phone call comes in showing your name from my contact list and I’m available to talk, I will send your call to voicemail. Please leave a message. Many people don’t seem to believe in leaving voicemail messages, figuring that you can see that they’ve called. But what does it mean? Do they want a call back? Does it mean it’s not important if they haven’t caught me at that moment? Are they annoyed with me for not answering? Do I need to apologize when I call back? But, sorry, if there’s no message, I’m not going to call back. Terribly old-fashioned of me I know!
Let’s add another communication channel which makes 7 rather than the 6 of my headline but it hasn’t driven me crazy yet so accuracy is still the rule.
Please let me know what communication methods work best for you and what drives you crazy?