Remember when conversations were held face-to-face? Two or more people would gather and share thoughts, work out issues, and cement relationships. We enjoyed the benefit of hearing the words another spoke, seeing the gestures and subtle body movements, and profited from the ability to ask questions for clarification and full understanding. Technology has forever shifted how we communicate. Today, we talk, we text, we tweet, we pin, and we write on each other’s walls. And, thanks to smart phones and tablets, we can do so anywhere and anytime.
Whatever the method of communication may be, one thing remains constant: we must demonstrate behavior that is considerate and polite.
Reason for Communicating
With so many communication options available, it is important to identify what the purpose is for your interaction. Do you desire to deepen a relationship? Do you have upsetting news? If so, it is best to communicate face-to-face. If that is not possible, then a phone call would be appropriate. Quick notes or comments can easily be sent through a text.
Focus on Those Who are Present
Where is your focus? Those who constantly check their phone send a clear message that there is something more important than those who are present—never a good message if you desire to enhance relationships.
Mobile Phone Tips
- Hang up and tend to business. Talking on your phone when you are trying to check out of a store, at the bank, in a public space, or using the restroom is never appropriate.
- Watch your volume! People tend to talk louder on their mobile phone.
- When placing a call, identify yourself and ask the person you are calling if it is a good time to talk. Be aware that not all people have unlimited minutes. Time is money!
- If your call is dropped, the person who placed the call is the one who should return the call – even if you think the call was dropped by the other person. This avoids the endless calls that go immediately to voice message. Of course, not all people know this; so if the person who placed the call does not call back in a couple minutes, then you probably should call them.
- Do not use your phone during public performances such as movies or the theater. Even checking your phone can cause light distractions.
- Be aware of background noises. Depending on the sensitivity of your phone, even minor background noises can be very loud to the person on the other end of the call.
- Use a hands-free device when driving so you can focus on driving. It is best to let people you are calling know you are in the car and ask them if they can hear you.
Note: Your Bluetooth is NOT a fashion accessory. Limit wearing one unless you are using the phone.
Most importantly, a text is NOT a conversation! A text is a statement or a question. Think of a text like a Post-it Note. If you have more information to convey than you can fit on a Post-it Note, consider another form of communication.
Avoid other activities when texting. Texting while driving is now proven to be more dangerous than drunk driving! And there are plenty of stories of people having accidents while walking and texting.
If you would like to learn more about how to communicate with class, please check out my chapter in Image Power.
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