General Etiquette > Life...in general

S/O I Don't Text - Differing Communication Preferences

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Hmmmmm:
To effectively communicate, it is important that both person's preferences be balanced.

I won't use a method that someone has told me they don't check often or if it has been ineffective in the past. Like if I email someone a few times and I notice it takes them a couple of days to respond back to me, then I'll pretty quickly figure out they do not check or respond to email on a daily basis.  Or if someone has said to me they don't like talking on the phone, then I'll text or email them. 

But if no one has a preference then I'll use the method I think is appropriate for the conversation. Sometimes a text is best if I'm asking my DD if she needs something but if I'm calling my aunt to check status of an ill relative, I'm not going to email or text, I'm going to have a voice conversation. 


NotTheNarcissist:
This reminds me of a thread a few months ago where I got a little slammed. I stated my DIL is a little difficult to communicate with because she admits she doesn't read her emails and past experience has proven that she does not respond to texts regularly, nor does she answer the phone. So while I do try to communicate with her, usually via phone (leaving a voicemail) I have given up any hope of decent communication with her. Sure she has the right to ignore emails, phone, texts. No problem. Got it. But does she (or the "non-texter" or the "non-email reader", etc) realize that a mild-medium-large (depending on circumstances) communication barrier has been created? If yes, that's ok and now we are all on the same page. If no, then please don't get upset with me when you missed a message I tried to get to you but your personal preference made it to where you missed it.

I was blasted on the other post because the person said I should not send her emails if she has stated she does not read them. I don't send her emails. I call her and only when I absolutely must since the perception thus far has been that she doesn't want to be included/bothered. I see erroneous assumptions on EH frequently.

Softly Spoken:
Many PPs have made good points about how complex of an issue this is.

The only observation I want to add is that while preferences are all well and good, often it is also a matter of what is logistically possible at the time. Whatever method of communication is used, the people involved should be aware of/acknowledge the limitations or potential pitfalls of that method.

Electronic communication is sometimes the equivalent of casting a bottled message into the ocean and hoping it gets there.  ::)

Anecdote: My exBF M had a sorority sister, ''B", who loved to text. M has a spotty, problematic phone/carrier and often does not receive random texts, voicemails, and even calls. One day M calls B to chat and gets blasted seemingly out of the blue: what kind of friend was she? how dare she act like this was no big deal? etc. etc. M was flabbergasted. Finally the situation was figured out: B had texted M telling her she had lost her job.  :o  :( B assumed M had gotten the information and didn't care - M hadn't even known!  :-\ I remember M being in disbelief that B would send this kind of news over a text message.

So when you are communicating with someone, it may be more important to consider the likelihood of them receiving the communication instead of thinking about which communication method you prefer. The more important the info and/or the more urgent the time crunch (if any), the better luck you will have using a reliable method.

I wonder if a math lover could make some sort of formula or graph that shows this kind of thing - the chance( by percentage) of a message getting through based on the method used, set against the likelihood of an individual using a given method of communication? ("If MIL sends you an email that is X% likely to get caught in the spam folder, and you check your email Y times a day, how long before MIL calls you to find out if you got her email?")  ;D

fountainof:
I generally choose the method I am most likely to get the response I need.  For a week off event event I often use email but if I need an immediate response I use what the person I am trying to contact would best respond too.  My goal is to reach the person, so I would be the one that would adapt.  Yes, I would prefer to talk with everyone in person or via email as I hate the phone but that doesn't work for everyone and if I do want to see people in person sometime I do have to successfully contact them to arrange plans.

PastryGoddess:
I'm pretty lucky that most of my friends and family are available either via email or phone pretty easily.  I do have some family members who like to text, but they are also available via other methods as well. 

I do have one friend who likes to text as her sole method of contact.  However, I do not text and drive, I have had to remind her multiple times that I do not answer texts while driving but if I see it come through I will give her a call immediately.  What makes it doubly frustrating is that she will text me, I'll give her a call and then she will refuse to pick up the phone and keep texting me while her phone is ringing.

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