I'm some what of a digital native.
As a GenXer, I can appreciate the early days of PacMac (go Atari), had the first 8086 IBM computer in our neighborhood, and was the popular nerd in my sorority at LSU with a dot matrix printer. Back then "digital" was mixed tapes and CDs.
But in my early days as a professional, I was blessed with access to email. It was pretty cool to have email in the 1990s. It helped to speed up the way we did business. But even the executives I worked with didn't know how to use it. Some didn't even have basic typing skills. At some point when you were given access to more technology, you were considered "moving up". Imagine how excited I was to be one of the first global workers at Shell in the early 2000s who got access to VPN (do we even have VPN anymore?)
If you fast forward to 2017, we all have more access to technology than we need. And, I have to say email is THE worst form of communication. At least, social media is inclusive and communal. Email isn't communal. It's top down, and if used the wrong way, it can set the tone for a bad day. Come on, I know you've received one of those ZINGER emails from a colleague of even a boss where you wanted to pull your hair out and respond? Or you get on a distribution list that gets spammed by guys in the company arguing over petty things. I've worked in two behemoth companies where I've been sent things I probably shouldn't have received, more than a few times. I've seen it all.
But the worst form of email communication is the kind that could easily have been handled with a phone call. Unhappy with someone? Pick up the phone! The worst communication is when someone blasts you an email, copies the universe to tell you something that clearly should be spoken.
Long gone are the days of people picking up the phone to communicate a message, live. And sure, I'm guilty. I get busy and sometimes treat communication in a transactional way, but I promise you if you pick up the phone, write a card, or make your communication more personal, people will remember it. Someone once told me anything and everything you write in an email should be considered material for the front page of the Wall Street Journal, so be careful and courteous in your written communication.
Remember: people remember how you made them feel. And today, I learned really quickly I wasn't worth a simple phone call.
So tomorrow, I'll redouble my efforts to make four extra calls before I shoot off an email.
I hope you'll join me.