Technology and social media in general are great tools for communicating with friends and family as well as customers, and is a great way to meet others and share opinions. The technology such as e-mail and social media will never be able to replace the relationship building that comes from meeting someone face to face.
Oftentimes using electronic communication is a way for many to communicate things they are afraid to do face-to-face. Technology is there as a tool to help build relationships and to communicate more effectively and efficiently.
Forbes recently had an article titled Hiding Behind Email? Four Times You Should Never Use Email by Margie Warrell.
Distance makes the heart grow harder
“Dana Carney, an assistant professor of management at University of California, Berkeley says it’s easier to mislead via technology. “When you’re close to someone face-to-face, they’re real to you and it’s harder to do bad things, to lie to them,” she said. “The more distance we have from someone, the more likely we are to make decisions in a cold, purely cognitive way.” Unlike the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder, when it comes to communicating, distance doesn’t make it grow fonder, but harder – less caring, more cold.”
Technology Provides a Cop-Out
“But even if you aren’t one to drop in the odd little white lie, sending an email or text can still be an act of cowardice when meeting in person, or even making a call, would be so much better. Why? Houston movers. Hiding behind email spares us the discomfort of dealing with their reaction; you don’t have to see the person to whom you are delivering your word-bashing. We can unload what we want to say into a scathing message, without actually hearing their response or getting into an emotionally charged exchange with them.
Hiding behind a computer screen can also give a false sense of bravado as we bravely hurl rebukes and criticism we would never have the courage to deliver in person. Email desensitizes us to the emotions of others. Because we can’t see their hurt, it doesn’t matter as much.”
Emotions get “Lost in Translation”
Even when we deign to consider email the optimal communication tool, we still run the risk of misinterpreted words causing unintentional offense or damage. The source of the problem deals directly with emotion – the emotions you are writing with and those they are reading with can be starkly different. While a masterful poet may be able to convey emotion accurately through the written word, the rest of us tend to do a less proficient job, and the emotion we intend to convey gets lost in translation. As soon as you start using text phrases to characterize emotion that would normally be delivered with vocal intonation, subtle nuances, facial expressions and body language, your intended message can be completely misinterpreted. If you have ever had a sarcastic remark via email backfire badly, you will have discovered this already.
Four Times You Should NEVER use Email
- When you’re MAD!!!!!
- When you are rebuking or criticizing.
- If there’s any chance your words can be misunderstood.
- When you are cancelling or apologizing.
In my experience electronic communication such as e-mail and other forms of social media people will often times say things they would not normally say in person. But also there is a much better chance of those who read what has been written to misunderstand and misinterpret what the author was trying to convey in this hurts relationships and reputations.
In those times when you feel it is easier to deal with somebody via some sort of electronic media out of fear or discomfort you should give serious thought to sitting down with them face to face. Although this may be discomforting it can be a great tool to develop and nurture mutual trust, understanding, and more than likely a lasting friendship, which is always good!