So, has modern messaging become a multimedia meltdown? Maybe. In my most recent in-person office job I had a landline phone. I didn’t use it. I had a cell phone. Why did I need this desk phone? I seldom checked my landline messages or my cell phone voicemail. So, I’ve missed a few messages. You? For me, messages are an annoyance. Email too. I’ve turned off Email notifications and only check Email a few times a day. I’m not always on social media. The best way to contact me is to call my cell or text me. If I don’t answer, I’ll call you back. People should know that. Or should they?

What’s Your Opinion? Has Modern Messaging Become a Multimedia Meltdown?

I recall an NPR (National Public Radio) episode where I listened to a daughter complaining about her parents leaving voicemails on her phone. She’d return a call to her mother, who would ask, “Did you get my message?” to which the daughter responded with disdain in her voice, “No….I called you.” She thought it was a waste of time until her father died unexpectedly. She found several unheard deleted messages from him, including one that said, “I hope you hear this because it’s important. I love you…” She changed her opinion about voicemail.

It Can Be Confusing

On one hand, I want to limit distractions—that’s why I’ve turned off most pings. On the other hand, shouldn’t I be more considerate of other’s preferred methods of communication? Not only that, but I could miss an urgent message from a friend or family or respond too slowly to take advantage of a business opportunity. When I’m on the other end of not receiving a response to a message, it can be frustrating. I assume the other person isn’t interested, doesn’t care, or is inconsiderate. But that’s not always the case, is it?

What Can You Do About It?

We all deal with multiple communication challenges every minute of the day and must understand there will be miscommunications, misinterpretations, and lost messages. The place to start is to be understanding and not assume the worst.

  • Inform others of your preferred method of communication.
  • Ask others about their communication preferences.
  • Politely follow up on unanswered correspondence. Consider using a different media.
  • Match the media to the message. How important is it? How complicated is the conversation? Should you meet face-to-face, zoom, phone, Email or?
  • Keep generational preferences in mind.

And most of all, be considerate, understanding, and patient. Not everyone will communicate as you do, and it’s not always intentional or personal when someone doesn’t reply.

Sometimes, it Takes Being Hit Over the Head

A few close friends frequently leave messages on my cell phone. One of those friends passed away. He had just turned 64. This morning, I retrieved several voicemails he had left on my phone. One was dated 12/24. He wished me a Merry Christmas. I’d never played the message.

Modern multimedia communication should make connecting and staying in touch easier, but that’s not always the case. Today’s communication options can be a tremendous advantage. If you’re as old as me, you remember when you had to find a pay phone to answer your beeper. Would you want to return to a time when FAX was the state-of-the-art in-office communication? Communication technology has come a long way. People? Maybe not so much. Multiple media communication can be used to its advantage or looked upon as a hindrance. Which will you choose?

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out. It might help you stop putting off what you want to do.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Pick One.

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash