iphone-472197_1280Today I feel like a ramble, its often brought to my attention that I am an online communication junkie.

Luckily my obsession has long been taken care of by my even more obsessive communicator, my best friend, cousin and now colleague.

Phone calls and Text – not sure if the text came first I think its probably the fondly remembered faxes we used to send each other – reams of it a day – then thank god then came the internet. Emails would fly back and forth all day long, how we ever got any work done I’m not sure – we have calmed down a little bit now as after 20 years the novelty wore off a little.

Then I found live chat – in the form of IRC chat rooms, I was hooked. An instant response from many people, I loved it. Then came more accepted chatrooms and Social Media which we can now have all on our mobile phones everyday.

Its a world of instant communication – is this good or bad

I get a big kick out of how we can communicate now, right now. I truly am amazed every day at the even more ways we can communicate with each other. Not just for personal use but for businesses, we can connect to our audience in many ways, reaching far and wide.

Video and voice chat are becoming more and more popular – especially now with Periscope – Meerkat – and the Facebook Mentions which is pretty useless right now as its just for celebs. Livestreaming – I thought Twitch had it made, but now anyone can live stream right FROM THEIR PHONE there is no need for extra tech, mics, software, just straight from your phone – okay, you can’t do what you could with something like TwitchTV but very close. And of course you have Skype, Whatsapp, Teamspeak, Mumble, Blab, Steam, Discord, Face time and so many others for voice or video chat and or texting – in groups or one to one. This all really excites me, I think its fantastic.

I think its more important to me now, as I work for myself by myself mostly, and I don’t have time for lengthy telephone conversations – so there are a lot of quick emails, dms, messages, quick skypes and I check many places when I am free – do not usually have notifications on for personal use unless I am waiting for something urgent. Ah I do have on some text notifications but no pings or beeps! So, maybe I might not reply right away to someone but you will be sure it will be the same day if not within the hour.

Its a world of instant communication - is this good or bad

However as much as this way of communicating excites me…

It doesn’t excite everyone – and it doesn’t excite me to have to wait – I’m not the most patient person and if I need information – I need it ! HA!   But we need to realise that not everyone is online all day everyday like me and most people that I connect with.  Those of us that expect a response to a message within a few hours can be disappointed or hurt when we do not get one. Is this selfish of us? Is it bad for us? Are we too impatient or is this just how the world is now?

We have so many different ways to communicate, some people and businesses just can’t cope. They have to check their email, twitter, text, Facebook, whatsapp and take the time to reply to everyone.  Business are lucky they can hire someone like me to take care of that for them.    Its funny that statistics say much of it is down to age, they say that people who grew up with this technology ie – Millennials are more communicative and able to cope online that the older Boomers. Not so sure myself, the Boomers know the value of it more I feel.

How Quickly Should We Respond

How quickly do you (do we) expect a response to a

  • Text
    Email
    Tweet
    Voice Message
    Online Direct or Private Message

I’m not sure what is expected to be the most instant way of communicating now because all of these are usually instant or within the hour. It used to be if you wanted someone urgently you would phone or text but now I think most people are too busy to talk or its not an appropriate time and you will go to voicemail – unless its a business. If someone hasn’t replied within 12-24hours tops I do wonder what they are doing, why have they not replied! Especially if its a co-worker or business email. I would say personal Email would have the longest response time and you might expect to wait a few days depending on the nature and urgency of the matter.

Do you reply to everyone, or are there some messages or emails that you just plainly ignore? Of course there are spam messages or troll messages that we probably ignore but maybe there are others.

According to a survey on search engine watch – Most Twitter users expect a response from Brands on Twitter within the hour – I do not think that is unreasonable at all – businesses should have dedicated people to deal with social media.

What can add to the need of an instant reply is that in some cases we see when people have received our messages, so we know that they have received them but still not replied, however in some cases they may have received it but not actually read it.

Remember when we used to send a letter and it could be weeks before you heard back from a person!

Its a world of instant communication - is this good or bad Always connected

If people don’t reply straight away do we assume they are being rude on purpose, or unprofessional? – is it selfish of us to expect them to reply right away? If it isn’t a business response and just a response from a friend, they are probably busy getting on with life right? Who are we to expect them to reply right away? Or are they just rude, not replying.

Everyone has a mobile phone now, and you can respond to all of these messages direct from your mobile so most of us are always connected. However there are times when we are busy working, driving or doing something where we cannot be distracted, or even on holiday where we might not have a connection. This of course is not an option for me, at least so far – I will buy data, or a mifi, a dongle, or get wifi somehow, there is no not connected. Where as for some its not a holiday if they can’t disconnect, but thats another blog post 🙂

I would love to know your views on this, it fascinates me what peoples views are, as to me its simple – I think Its a world of instant communication – is this good or bad – you tell me?