General Etiquette > general

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

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As the OP of the other thread, it's probably pretty obvious that I feel that you should follow the preferences of the person you are contacting (within reason).

If you know that someone doesn't check their email, it seems kind of rude to insist on emailing them.  Or if the person really doesn't like phone calls before 10am or after 10pm, it seems rude to insist on calling them before 10am or after 10pm. 

I think communication is a balancing act between the initiator and recipient, with both sides giving in a little.

I have a pretty open mind when it comes to communicating. The worst way to contact me is to send paper mail. It takes a week for me to get mail, unless it is sent priority mail. All of my elderly relatives have passed on, and my mom is good with facebook, using her cell phone and email. My aunt and I send emails, as she hates facebook and has a limited cellular phone account. I am on facebook primarily to keep up with friends and family that live all over the planet. I learned the hard way that it is best for me to be in communication with people I care about, rather than relying on someone else to give me information. I have missed too many last chances to be with family and friends that I will never have again.

My mother-in-law just got an email account, but she only checks it once a week, so there is no point in sending her an email. If I call her cellular phone, I get snapped at for wasting her minutes. I can't win there.

I'll communicate by IM and private messages, and (less frequently) email.  I don't text, and I don't use the phone unless I have to.  Actually, I don't even have a cell phone.  ;D  I guess I just hate being reachable, and have to gear up to it sometimes.  I'm definitely the exception, not the rule.

I don't think it's about whose preference should take priority -- sender's or recipient's. It's about what's the most effective and efficient method for reaching a specific person. Everyone uses technology differently. I've learned, often through trial and error, what my friends' communication preferences are, and I'll use the one that's most likely to reach them. Email and Facebook are my preferred methods, but if I have an urgent message for someone who logs into FB or checks email only sporadically, I'll call them instead.

When Bagman first got online, our friend Bagbuddy and I were already Internet junkies, but we both had dial-up. I used to tell people that if I wanted to talk to Bagbuddy, I had to email him to tell him "Get off the computer and call me!" but if I wanted to email Bagman, I had to call him to tell him "Check your email!"

I think that if someone has a lot of friends and family, it can be near-impossible to keep track of who likes what. Especially since preferences can change with circumstances. Alex likes texting except when his phone runs out, Bonnie has a Facebook but never checks it, Carole has free calling on evenings and weekends but better not call her on a weekday, David emails frequently when he's at school but when at home is almost impossible to get ahold of, Emily has to pay for incoming texts and you better remember that or she'll get very upset...I often will see Facebook posts from people correcting how others communicate with them.

I think that the sender can use whatever method they like within reason (carrier pigeons aren't practical this time of year) but if it's urgent, should really try multiple methods if the first one doesn't work. It's a little bit silly to text someone, and then get angry when they miss something, when you never tried emailing or calling. I'd hope close friends and close family could come to an agreement, but what I find is that generally those whose preferences coincide tend to communicate more. I text people and hate talking on the phone, so I tend to communicate more with my friends who also text.


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