conversationsWhat’s wrong with people these days? It seems like many people are hiding behind their phones. They send texts and post passive aggressive diatribes on social media.

When did social media and text messages become the only form of communication? Here’s the deal, texts and social media posts or tweets are fine. There’s a purpose to them, but they’re not meant to be the only form of communication. Pick up the phone if you have something important to say, especially if it’s something that needs to be discussed.

Over the weekend, I spent some time on Facebook and saw a stream of posts about this election. We get it. Everyone is less than happy about this election. Can we please move on? Why do I have to see posts from people informing me they’ll be unfriending other people who are supporting the other team? That’s passive aggressive nonsense.

Really?

Got nothing better to do?

Not too long ago I received a message from a vendor at a critical point in a negotiation. Instead of calling me at that point, he chose to text me.

Really?

This is how you want to earn my business?

Needless to say, I did not hire him.

When did having a conversation with someone, especially when it’s difficult or you’re not seeing eye to eye become something to be personally avoided? When did it become acceptable to deal with the end of relationships through text or email? When did it become normal to handle tough business discussions with a quick text message? When did so many people become cowards hiding behind their mobile phones?

Folks, here’s a message to those who think they can hide behind their cell phone screens. Phones are a tool. You still have to deal with people. You still have to develop trust with people in your personal and professional life. And, trust does not come through on an electronic device that you tap into.

That’s a distorted reality.

Trust comes from hearing someone’s voice. It comes from talking to people face-to-face or on the telephone. It comes from listening to someone’s tone. It comes from hashing things through in person, especially in difficult conversations or when there are disagreements.

Many people are missing a very important point if they believe they can hide behind their phone screens. The point is that no worthwhile and deep relationship is developed or maintained exclusively on social media or via text message. I’m sure I’ll get plenty of people who disagree with me on this. I can hear it now–or rather–read it on my social media newsfeed, tweets or text messages.

Deep relationships have to be nurtured. And, when there are tough conversations to be had, you have to give the other person the courtesy of picking up the phone or making an appointment and talking things through.

Social media and text messaging are great. They make our lives easier. But they’re not supposed to be used to the exclusion of all other forms of communication, like a phone call or a meeting. Humans are still humans. We trust those we know. We know people better when we hear or see their verbal and physical cues.

If you’re one of those people who lives their reality behind the screen–pick up the phone or make an appointment. Stop hiding behind your texts or social media posts. You’re thumbs need a break.

 

Author of “Get Off the Couch: Grip & Rip and Break the Barriers Holding You Back in Life” (Free Digital Download)

 

© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.