My Mum, Step-Dad and I often get into very random, interesting, and interestingly random conversions. The other night we somehow found ourselves in a conversation about methods of communication. Mum mentioned how she was frustrated with someone you has to deal with on a regular basis because they do all their communicating via email, rather than just picking up the phone and calling to talk it out. I said to her that when it comes work -related things I prefer email too as it means everything is written out, so you can refer to it later and it also means you can get to it when you have time.
I think it must come from my days at the Newspaper when I received all my work via email. I guess I just got in the habit of working that way, so now I find it frustrating to have a phone conversation when it comes to details aspects of work. I would much rather liaise via email.
The discussion continued and I mentioned that I will generally text someone rather than call them too, unless it is something quick to say and/or I need to find out something immediately. Mum and Step-Dad both said their default way to communicate is by calling someone up. We decided it was a general difference.
I have a bit of a system and a hierarchy for how I like to contact people.
Work Related: Email or Skype Chat [typed]
Setting Up Appointments: Phone
Socially: Text, Facebook or Twitter
Special Occasions, or Just thinking of you: Text or Snail Mail.
As you can see I actually rarely use the phone. The main reason for this is, when it comes to non-urgent things, or socially related things I feel calling someone is too intrusive on their time. I don’t know what they are doing the moment I call, maybe they are busy, maybe they don’t feel like talking to someone right now. In that way texting is perfect. You say what you need to say, and then they get back to you when they are free and/or ready. Text and Email also give the recipient time to think about the content before responding, and saves on return phone calls etc.
I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who doesn’t always feel like talking to people on the phone, and maybe part of it also is because I express myself much better in written form, but that is generally how I like to communicate.
Now of course there are downsides to written based communication. You can’t always tell the tone of what someone is saying with text, email and chat like you can actually speaking with someone, but this doesn’t happen very often.
How do you communicate for work? In social situations? Do you feel phone calls are invasive? Do you think it depends which generation you are from?