Have you seen the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You? It came out in 2009 and is a hilarious comparison between men and women in the dating world. Watch it some time for a good laugh. One scene in particular is with Drew Barrymore’s character, Mary.
She’s sharing with a girlfriend her frustration with dating: “I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work so I called him at home and then he e-mailed me to my Blackberry and so I texted to his cell and then he e-mailed me to my home account and the whole thing just got out of control.”
She continues: “I miss the days when you had one phone number and one answering machine and that one answering machine has one cassette tape and that one cassette tape either had a message from a guy or it didn’t. And now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”
The sad truth is that this IS occurring with ALL relationships, personal and professional. We’re dehumanizing our lives. It’s time to TAME the technology monster, and what better time than now so you can have a happy holiday! That’s my gift to you…
Technology was designed to serve us, not enslave us. When 70% of women are checking their Facebook accounts in the middle of the night, we are in trouble. I’m going to give you some quick tips on how to put technology back in its place. It should be streamlining your professional life and adding value to your personal life. But like any tool, it is only as good as the person using it and our intent.
Are you willing to make one change regarding your use of technology to have a happier holiday? I believe you are worth it. Do you?
A great rule of thumb: If you would not say it to the person’s face, then don’t type it in an Email, text, or social media page! If you would not scream at the person, then don’t shout in your Email ore text (ALL CAPS). What you say and how you say it still applies to Email. In order to maximize this technology and use it properly, we must watch our etiquette:
- Speak, don’t SCREAM – Most people are offended by ALL CAPS. I know it is quicker, but it is still inappropriate. Would you send a formal letter out on business letterhead like that? I hope not! All caps is considered harsh and rude. Type all Emails like you would normally.
- Don’t be lazy – Typing everything in lower case with no regard to spacing is just as insulting as all caps, and it is difficult to read. Take the time to capitalize and punctuate appropriately when texting.
- Yuz spel chk (use spell check) – Again, we would not tolerate misspellings and poor grammar in professional correspondence, so do not lower your standards when using Email. Be professional please.
- Jargon – Keep Email formal. Do not become so informal that slang terms and inappropriate language is used. Remember, your Email can and will be printed by your recipient. In fact, all of your Emails are most likely being screened and reviewed by your IT department. Write carefully.
- AEAA (avoid emoticons and abbreviations) – You had no idea what AEAA meant, did you? Don’t assume your recipient knows your cute text phrases. Remember what “assume” means.
- Use “cc”, “reply to all,” and “important” sparingly.
- Sign it – Don’t forget to include your name and signature. Again, standard communication rules apply. Your signature should include your name, title, company, telephone number, extension, and web address if applicable.
And please: never use Email, text messages, or social media for:
- Emotionally charged discussions…like breaking up with your boyfriend!
- Conflicts…political or otherwise
- Reprimands…do unto others as you would like them to do to you!
- Criticism…if you don’t have anything nice to say, zip it!
- Personal issues
Period. PICK UP THE PHONE or meet in person. If you aren’t comfortable or have anxiety about face to face encounters, seek help from a coach like me. I can help you deal with crucial conversations, conflicts, and speak with confidence.
Just because you receive a text or Email doesn’t mean you have to respond immediately. Set aside certain hours of the day to check devices. That being said, have the decency to get back to people! Ghosting needs to end…now! It’s rude and WILL catch up with you. Burning bridges leaves you deserted alone on an island.
It’s the holiday season. The time of year where we are more giving, thoughtful, and kind to one another…right? Let’s start by using technology properly and not allowing it to replace our interactions with one another.
Let’s not be the couple in the restaurant too entrenched in their phones that they aren’t really together. Let’s not be a family who doesn’t talk to one another but only texts.
Technology can help us, but it can also hurt us. Know what works for you, and what is derailing you. Then, set parameters and limits.
Remember, I have a FREE monthly newsletter. If you would like to sign up, sign up at my website. I never sell my lists. You will need to accept my opt-in Email. I also have some great books and DVD’s that make wonderful gifts or stocking stuffers at my store.
I hope you use my gift of tools to Tame the Technology Monster and have a healthy and happy holiday season!