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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The art of communication

Mark Evans writes about how to use different tools to communicate effectively, and concludes:

I do think digital communications is far from perfect, and people who rely extensively on e-mail and SMS today aren't communicating as effectively as they can. Sure, they're communicating but it's communications-lite.

I'm certainly not suggesting we abandon e-mail and IM, which would be a big mistake because they can be valuable and extremely useful tools. But I do think that we can communicate better, and that stepping away from the keyboard is a good way to start. So rather than e-mail or IM someone, why not meet them for coffee/beer or, at least, give them a call?

When I first used the Internet, emailing was seen by many as a kind of entertainment and not a widespread disease.
The main and most glorious achievement of emailing is that is killing the art of conversation.
If we think of the type of conversation is helping to kill, our gratitude must be undying.
The trouble is that it has not killed enough of it.
Some of it is still alive and flourishing thanks to cell phones.
Typical conversation:
It struck me when I was out before supper, that the wind is going round to the south...
Yes, definitely. What do you think?
I couldn't agree with you more.
I do not like south winds. Do you?
Oh, no Heaven forbid.
Get a lot of south wind where you live?
Not a lot, a fair amount. We get our fair share of south wind. You know how it is, one has to take the rough with the smooth.
I like west winds, personally. West winds are fun.
And so on, and so on.
Of course I agree that sometimes the personal way is the best way to communicate.
But it is more a matter of what you say than a matter of how.
Stupidity and naiveté are bad in person as much as on the phone or email or whatever.
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