What kind of an electronic communicator are you? Do you think you communicate clearly, electronically?
With social media becoming one of the most prolific communication norms we utilize, we are talking to everyone, including people we only know through the acceptance of a not-so-crazy-looking profile picture and an acceptable number of mutual connections, electronically. When communicating electronically, we must remember, we are not just type talking to people, we are also talking to their insecurities, sensitivities, experiences and emotions too.
Electronically communicating is not going away anytime soon, so how do we learn better ways to communicate within the confines of words and emojis, without pissing everyone off and vice versa?
Here are five tips to consider when communicating electronically:
1. PROOFREAD. Today, we are in a hurry to get so much done. We want to ensure we answer all of the emails, the inbox messages and we want to get our 2 in on some sizzlin' hot social media post too! It takes only a few seconds to go over what you have typed. Make sure that the words you choose to use are words that those you are communicating electronically with understand and that the words carry the same meaning with them as it does with you and as you intended.
2. TONE YOUR TYPE. Many of us, if not all of us, type exactly how we talk. We must remember that when we are communicating electronically, the receiver(s) cannot see our faces, cannot hear our tones, and if they are not familiar with us, are not aware of our language. Tone, when communicating electronically, is everything. Being in a hurry and multitasking is not always good when are type talking. Take your time and focus on clarity.
3. CLARIFY. When you receive an electronic communication from someone and you feel some kinda way about what they have typed, before you go off on them, clarify. Contact them via email or telephone to get clarification of the meaning behind something you have read, that has rubbed you the wrong way. Don't just fly off the handle based on the conclusion that you and the committee that meets inside your head comes to.
4. YELLING OR BEING SARCASTIC. I learned this the hard way, using all caps is a no no when communicating electronically. I like all caps sometimes, but when we are type talking, it means that we are yelling at the receiver(s). Avoid using all caps, especially when communicating with people you don't know: it implies yelling!
5. STAY OUT OF THE CONVERSATION**. This last tip truly goes for social media. If the social media post is pertaining to a subject matter that you have no experience with or that you out right disagree with, ask yourself, "Will my butting in cause problems and turn the situation into a social media shouting match? Is my responding worth it." If you don't need to respond, don't. It's not that serious or important, after all, it's social media and chances are, you do not know even know the person that you are wanting to respond to. Allow people to have their own opinions and truth on their social media pages. You have your own pages to share you opinions and your truths on.
**Refrain from engaging the opinions of others. Most times, people are ONLY engaging the person who created the original post. They are only interested in sharing their opinion, not debating with you. If you have a post response, post it and go on about your way.
No matter who you are, on any given day, you can make the mistake of communicating electronically in a manner that when received, illicits an extremely negative reaction. Be careful. Take your time when sending electronic communications.
Even if you are sending an electronic communication full of venom, before you hit the send or reply button, you better make sure you are prepared to stand behind every word. We live in a "gotcha" society where so many want to screen shot and embarrass others publicly, for what was intended to be private.
If you receive a message that rises the heat in your head, no worries. Calm down. Take a few "whoosah" breaths. Don't go all "Jackie Chan" right off the bat when you read something sent to you electronically and it rubs you nothing but the wrong way. Take time to make sure that what you are feeling is exactly what the sender or responder intended for you to feel. DO NOT RESPOND WITH YOUR EMOTIONS without getting clarification first.
Lastly, everyone, be patient with one another. We are imperfect beings. We don't always do all the right things in the eyes of all people. Give someone a chance, just as you would want someone to give you a chance.