Smartphones, Messaging, Texts and We Still Can’t Communicate!

by Mindy Kaleta on October 6, 2014

Woman questions smartphone angry (2)

Even with all the high-tech, on-the-go communication venues at our fingertips…communication is still one of most challenging issues of our day!  C’mon! We can do better than this!

As you may be able to tell, the lack of communication I believe is the #1 reason people have trouble with relationships.  We are poor communicators!  Think about it….

Communicating today has been left up to using our high-tech instruments to do our messaging for us.  We schedule appointments, ask for favors, even say “Happy Thanksgiving” with our smartphones, facebook timelines and texts.  But when we rely on modern communication to be our ONLY means of communicating with others, a thousand things can be misinterpreted.  Here are a few:

  1. The way we word our messages can be misconstrued and left up to interpretation by the receiver in a number of different ways based on what mood they are in or their frame of reference at the time
  2. If the receiver happens to be “having a life” or engaged in some activity where they cannot respond immediately, that can be misinterpreted in a hundred ways by the messenger as to why they couldn’t answer them back right away
  3. Messages are sent but not received (or seen in their feed) sometimes leaving “blanks” in the conversation that don’t come through causing major “breaks” contributing to miscommunication
  4. Typing on small keyboards can also give way to abbreviating text which can also send the message that “I am angry or irritated” which may or may not be the case
  5. Hiding behind the smartphone, computer or any other high-tech device gives the sender permission to be a little braver than they might be if they were talking to someone face-to-face or even voice-to-voice like actually speaking on the phone (Ohhh…the horrors!!)
  6. And the list could go on and on!

Don’t get me wrong here! I love all the high-tech devices we have at our disposal, but I believe that if we truly want to communicate and connect with our fellow man…something needs to change!  I know I’ve had some pretty intense emotions surrounding this very issue where I’ve been totally misunderstood…all because I used technology instead of just picking up the phone or speaking directly face-to-face when I could.  So, if you bear with me, I want to discuss a few basic guidelines that may be of help to keep those misunderstandings to a minimum.  And with the upcoming holidays, they just may come in handy to save you from unnecessary emotional trauma!

Here goes:

Making Plans for Upcoming Events

People tend to want to use social media, messaging or texts to a group of attendees to set up an event and it can be quite handy.  The problem arises when we get tied up in the details and the conversation starts to become so tedious and confusing with so much input that you wonder why you decided to have the event in the first place.

Keep It Simple!!!  When setting up an event, take control…it’s your event.  Give the time, date and the details of the event. Make it clear to your invitees if you need them to bring something or if you will be providing everything.  If you need them to bring something, have a list of things for them to choose from. Make it easy and leave little room for things to get complicated.  

Communicate clearly that you need a RSVP by a certain time and expect them to get back to you by that date.  It’s only common courtesy to let the host know whether you can make it or not.  No one wants to sit hours before a party wondering if you are coming. Be polite.

Asking  For A Favor

We all need to ask for help sometimes. But when we do, we need to remember a couple of things.  First we are asking for a favor…and the person we are asking has the right to help you out or to decline.  They are absolutely  under no obligation to help you, so please be courteous and considerate of their time, schedule and whether they are willing to help you out.

One of the biggest issues in “asking for a favor”, when someone sets up a plan with you and you have both agreed, is to muddy it up with “changes in the plan”.  Such as…”I know I set it up that I need you at 6:00, but now I need to be somewhere else at 6:00, so could you change your plans and either meet me somewhere else or be willing to meet me at 7:00…or maybe”…….oh, just shoot me now!!!  Again…“Keep It Simple!!!”  

If you want them to follow through, it’s best not to change the original plan.  But if you DO have to change the plan, just know that the new plan may or may not now fit with what they have going on.

And remember…you are asking for a favor…and the definition of a favor is “a kindness or a courtesy”.  When the plan is changed, the dynamics of the “favor” has changed. The person agreeing to the favor has the right to now decide if this new plan works for them. If it doesn’t, they have the right to decline. Be respectful of their willingness to help you out in the first place and don’t forget to thank them for doing so.

Communication in General

Again…Keep It Simple!!

  • As the saying goes, “Just the facts Ma’am!”  Stick to the facts and resist the need to dramatize! Drama is exhausting and is a sure fire way to squeeze the enjoyment out of anything! No one’s got time for dat!!
  • If communications seem to be going awry with misunderstandings, hurt feelings or confusion…it may be time to pick up the phone and set things right.  Your relationships are too important to give to chance that your words and tone online (private messages, texts, e-mail…whatever) are successfully relaying the message you want to give.
  • Remember to be kind.  Treat others as you would want to be treated. We are all traveling through this world just trying to grab as much joy, love and happiness as possible. Treating others with respect and being considerate will go a long way in getting what you need as well.

I hope this has been helpful and useful.  Let me know what you think.  Comment below or hop on over to  my facebook page to share your experiences with this topic!

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