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Let Your Fingers Do the Talking: Word on the Street — June 10th thru June 14th

June 16th, 2013 6 COMMENTS
Let Your Fingers Do the Talking: Word on the Street -- June 10th thru June 14th

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

It’s on your desk, in the battery charging cradle at home, or in the tray in your car. Some are black, some are white, some are shiny. They all have numerical keypads . . . keypads that rarely get used by anyone under 35.

It’s Your Phone

A phone, by definition, is an instrument that converts voice and other sound signals into a form that can be transmitted to remote locations and that receives and reconverts waves into sound signals.

In other words, it’s intended to talk to other people, something that is clearly lost on anyone between the ages of 12 and 35. That’s not to say that people older than 35 aren’t voice adverse as well, but clearly the under 35 generation has a totally different application for their phone.

So why am I talking about this? Because it frustrates me. In business and in our personal lives, too many of us have abandoned personal conversation in exchange for 140 characters, and I would contend that it is causing more problems than it is helping.

Email and texting both have a very valuable place. I use my phone to text, and I’m immersed in email all day long, but there is something that neither of them can accomplish. They cannot convey accurate “tone” like a phone call. Too many times, people tap a message only to find out than the recipient interpreted it in a totally different way than it was intended. When there’s no tone, tone is supplied by the reader.

In the workplace, this can be a problem, one that can escalate quickly. Most of the time, we send an email or a text to a customer or colleague. This makes sense. It’s convenient, easy, and fast. But when an “issue” arises, it’s much better to pick up the phone and call rather than exchange emails. That way, you hear one another and it’s far less likely to turn ugly. We’re mostly cowards on the phone. Not so much when typing.

A few years back, a family member who was in her 20’s s texted me a question. So I called her. She didn’t answer, but she did text me back saying, “What?” So, I called her back. When she answered, I said, “Why didn’t you just pick up the first time?” The answer floored me, “You’re weird! Who does that? Just text me back.”

Hello! How are you?

I am clearly disconnected. I don’t understand this phone phobia. Maybe I’ve become that old guy, out of touch at 40. I LOVE technology more than most, but it can’t replace conversation.

In our world, whether you are in Accounting, Production, Account Management, Project Management, or Graphic Design, you are in Sales, even if sales isn’t in your title. Maybe not all the time, but a portion of your job requires interacting with customers, suppliers, and colleagues. What is sales? Sales is the transfer of enthusiasm from one person to another. It’s that simple . . . and it’s much easier to convey enthusiasm verbally than in a text.

If you want to combine technology and a voice call, use FaceTime like my 6-year old son. He calls me at least three times a day. And hearing him . . . it’s so much better than a text.

Give me a call. I’d love to hear from you. We can chat about the Good Old Days, before the youngins’ ruined everything.

Kevin, The Old Guy


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6 Responses to “Let Your Fingers Do the Talking: Word on the Street — June 10th thru June 14th”

  1. chuck michel says:


    OMG, I ROTFLOL. TX for the PSA- peeps should TRN off the PUTER. I mean IMJS! SMEM k?



  2. Joan says:

    So true, so true…….if you really want to understand what is needed, what is being said, there is absolutely nothing like the good old fashioned phone call. It definitely builds relationships that cannot be established in an email or text.

  3. Derek says:

    I have been typing a text or email. It reads like it could be taken wrong or not in the correct voice I want to use.
    I have received emails this way also. Those are fun.
    So I retype some text , parts of the paragraph, delete sentences, I read aging and hate it even more. I call the person and they say, “Weird. I was just going to email/text you.”

  4. A while ago I wrote a blog on a new social media phenomena. It was called “using your smart phone to make a phone call”. I sarcastically used the ways we used to communicate, all the time, as something brand new. If you think about it, there are people in our younger generation who have absolutely no experience carrying on a conversation in person, much less over the phone.

    I have a niece who got into trouble with her parents recently and they took away her cell phone, for a few months. Afterwards when the phone was returned and she repented to a new life, she admitted that not having the phone, “forced” her to use the telephone at home to talk to her friends. She met a guy, whom she is still dating to this day because in order to talk, he would have to call her. She admitted she would NEVER have gotten to know him if she was using her cell the usual way.

    Your blog this week is right on. I sometimes joke that the uni-bomber may very well be proven to have been somewhat accurate in his assessment that technology and computers may ruin the social fabric of our lives. What’s left to be known is whether it will be more difficult to convert the younger masses to using the ol skool way of speaking to one another or to stop the older generation from adapting the new skool way of communicating.

    It is always good to read your blogs Kevin. Maybe I should give you a call today, so we can shoot the breeze and burn up some of the bosses time, kibitzing on the phone…..

  5. Kevin says:

    too funny. I have done the very same thing. Then in reflection think….”how much time did I just spend trying to make that message convey my thoughts accurately?”
    Something that could have been attained by just picking up the phone.
    thanks for commenting

  6. Kevin says:

    you’re hilarious!
    thought….you know how we have learned so much over the years about ancient history by reading hieroglyphics left by ancient societies on walls unearthed by archeologist?
    Imagine what people 200 years from know will be doing in trying to untangle the meanings of paragraphs like you just wrote! 🙂
    Well played my friend!

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