December 9, 2008

That's Not What I Meant

It is fascinating how we can seamlessly communicate with each other via social networking sites, cell phones, emails, pins, texts, landlines, Skype, and snail mail.

What’s equally fascinating is how little information reaches its intended recipient in-tact.

Newsflash: email is not the best way to share ideas. The meaning gets lost, we all make mistakes in the words we select, and the mood at the other end is out of our control.

More text messages are sent each day than there are humans living on the planet. And that will only grow. There are an estimated two million emails sent every second!

We are spending a lot of time and money trying to reach each other.

But are we communicating? Are we receiving information in the same light as it was intended? Are we listening and reading?

The telephone game is a simple one – and you know it – the message begins with one person, who tells it to another and the more people who touch the message before it gets to you, increases the chances of inaccuracies.

You've been there. It begins with an innocent email only to end in a flurry of misunderstanding and half sentences. No one has decided to bail in lieu of an actual converstation and the whole thing becomes a mess.

We try our best to re-explain ourselves which can make things worse. The result is a string of emails that begin to make no sense and the original question or comment or content is buried three pages down.

Mean what you say and say what you mean. Easier said than done.

It's worth a try. Oh, and the smartphone does have a phone option.


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