Sunday, December 02, 2012

Communications Breakdown

So I lost my phone, and after an initial 'how am I going to track it down and get it back?' flurry of thought reason once again took hold of my emotion and pointed out it simply wasn't worth the effort.

But it's curious, a decade ago this would probably have been more of a problem than it is now. Now I think the problem is that there is no universally socially accepted mandatory way of communicating.

I hosted a bbq thingy a couple of months back in which one of my friends remarked that they hadn't gotten much notice because I'd arranged it as a facebook event, and facebook events were not an acceptable way to arrange events anymore, but everyone else there was like 'facebook events are all I use' or some shit, and that doesn't really proove anything because all my guests would evidently use facebook events because I organised it through facebook.

I haven't been able to figure out what means of communication is effective with that friend, if you are reading this and hopefully you know who you are post a comment if my blogs are the best form of communication...

But I digress, gone is the neat dichotomy of people who prefer texts (my camp) and people who prefer calls (the mysterious other) to a plethora of people who are facebook dependent (I wouldn't say I am, I know all the important people's birthdays but if there's a facebook event I am 1000% more likely to attend) to facebook voyeurs (who look but don't publish) to passive facebook users (who read IT articles about facebook all the time on the interwebs but log into facebook once a year) to people waging a one-man personal war against facebook by deleting their account and refusing to use.

And then there's people like me who refuse to use twitter due to an inability to imagine it's appeal and a suspicion that anything that gets a column of content in the Mx daily can't be a good thing. But probably the people that are best at communicating use a combination of all the methods available to them and simply adjust to the preferences of others.

Like Drucker wrote real way early how your boss is either going to be 'a listener' who appreciates a meeting where you verbally brief them vs 'a reader' who want a written report on their desk, and you job to be effective is to figure out their preference and communicate to them according to their preference.

But I suspect our media usage and the explosion in options for how we communicate probably increasingly dictates our social life. The friends I spend the most time with are the ones that text or email, and this may seem arbitrary or may just be a quite reasonable demonstration of the principle of 'like attracts like'

I must confess I have friends that I am reluctant to text because they call me back. After years of annoyance, I eventually just adapted to call them instead of texting and it has worked out well because my phone credit tends to expire rather than run out, so it appeases my frugality, that is until I lost my phone friday night.

Even though the dissemination of the understanding that people are different, think different and have different behavioural preferences is increasing we are but in early days. I know the revelation of different 'management' preferences known by models such as DiSC were generally employed not as leading to adjustment by people but rather a forceful 'Well I'm a high I so you just have to accept me for what I am.'

It would be wrong of me to demand my friends only communicate with me in written form, just as it's lazy of me to only communicate with the friends that share my preference. But whether I win or lose the accepted universal platform, maybe having the choices we do now to indulge our personal preferences (broadcasting vs narrowcasting, verbal vs vocal, substantive vs insubstantive etc) maybe communication is something that just NEEDS a socially dictated standard like which side of the road to drive on and the interpretation of green vs red traffic signals.

I dunno man, I dunno, I dunno, I dunno...

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