This blog post is dedicated to my brother, who upon returning from a five-day vacation had over 200 new emails, and many people asking “Why haven’t you written me back?”
I am not sure when it started.
In the early 1990s BBS message boards, which were bulletin board systems where users exchanged messages and information with other users, were popular. This interface became more user friendly in 1998 when programs like ICQ were introduced. ICQ (def: I Seek You) was an instant messaging service that allowed us, while connected to the Internet, to exchange instant messages with our friends. Around this same time the first Blackberry was introduced, and in 2003 the world came to know the Blackberry as it is today, a mobile device that enables users to send email, BBM (def: Blackberry Messenger – think ICQ for Blackberry users), browse the Internet, and above all, be connected 24/7. Technology has continued to advance and corporations, like Apple, have developed and manufactured better, faster, and more effective mobile devices. Corporations are now in the business of putting themselves out of business – meaning, they are developing new technologies to make their existing technology obsolete. Thus, people continue to purchase the next best technology to stay in touch.
Now, to get back to my original point.
In a world where we used wait months for a piece of mail to be delivered via a postman on a horse, we now expect instant answers to all of our questions. Communication has changed and our tolerance level for waiting for an answer has dissipated. We have been conditioned to become frustrated and anxious if we do not get an instant reply to our email. We have become the most important person in the world.
In saying this, the sender has forgotten to put recipient in context. Perhaps the recipient has stepped out to the washroom or a meeting. Perhaps they are on the phone answering the two new voicemails. Perhaps they are home sick with the stomach flu. Perhaps they had to take an emergency trip to the hospital with an ailing parent. The recipient is a person like you and I, who, like you and I, is stretched for time, energy and
With all this technology, I understand the importance of this type of communication. (I should… I love social media!) If done right, it can certainly be an effective way in which to conduct business and stay in touch with clients. But, the next time someone doesn’t get back to you instantly, don’t get angry or upset, just try to be patient and wait for a response. Remember, they’re just like you and I.