Think before you communicate!

When you text, call, and email as much as I do, one begins to get  a bit of an understanding about how to better use technology for maximum benefit and least interference in day to day living.

It seems that the best advice I have is to simply………”Think before you communicate.”

Lately I have seen an increase in email, facebook, and text’s that, in essence, attempt to assign work to the recipient of the communication.

A Facebook message, “Call me.”  A text, “Call my wife.”  An email, “I need a book.”

Electronic media should not be used as a way around propriety.

If you would like to talk to someone on the phone, you could simply say, “Is this a good time for me to give you a call?”  Or, in the situation mentioned above, “My wife has a question she would like to ask you, may we give you a call?”

When you text someone and a response is delayed, it is inappropriate to follow that text up with a negative and demeaning communication.  For example, “You must not have time for me.”   Just because you know someone’s mobile phone number doesn’t mean you have the right to demand responses at your convenience, nor that you can slam someone who delays in responding.  It is, in fact, their mobile device and their schedule.

A few suggestions:

1.  Consider it an honor to have someone’s mobile device information and respect that honor.

2.  Always remember business hours.  Just because I know my doctor’s cell number doesn’t mean I can call him or her at mid-night because I have a question.

3.  Remember that real, live people take priority over electronic communications.  For example, those who have made an appointment and are seated in the office in conversation take priority over the person who sent the electronic communication.  Could you imagine sitting in the doctor’s exam room and the doctor taking texts from patients who simply didn’t want to get an appointment and in doing so they interrupt the doctor’s attention from your situation?

4.  Remember time zones.  On a recent journey I received at least 20 texts and calls between 2 and 5 AM.

5.  Have a zero tolerance policy.  If someone is inappropriate on facebook, text, or email, block them immediately….no questions asked.

6.  Consider the degree of closeness you have with the individual with whom you are communicating.  You may be able to text friend “B” at 2 AM, but you don’t know friend “D” well enough to text outside of business hours.

7.  Under no circumstances should you call someone and then put THEM on hold.  If you call them, they deserve your undivided attention.

Recently, I wanted to talk to one of my friend’s very famous friends.  “This is Kent.  I really would like to talk to your famous friend about a project upon which I am working.  If you would give me his mobile number, I will call him only once.  Or you could give him my number and ask him to call me.  Or any other means of connecting us would be a total blessing to me.  Thanks for your time.”

The next day this famous person called me, “Hi Pastor Kent.  What can I do to help you today?”

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