It used to be that if you wanted to communicate with someone, you only had a few choices. You could talk to them in person, on the phone, or send them a letter. If you wanted the letter to get there faster, you could fax it.
This stone age state of affairs was how I began my work life. Email existed, but I rarely, if ever, used it for work purposes. Now, of course, we email, conference call, text, Zoom, blog, Slack, tweet, SnapChat, webcast…Each of these methods has inherent advantages and disadvantages. They’re tools, but we think of them as if they are actual communication. Don’t be fooled. They’re not.
Communication requires someone to send a message and someone to receive it. Too many of our current proxies for talking don’t require a two-way street; we just send and send, and then we get frustrated when things don’t get done, or it seems like no one is reading our emails.
This is like the middle school basketball game I watched last night–time after time, players would throw haphazard passes out of bounds, to the other team, off their own feet. If there’s no one to catch it, it’s not really a pass. If no one hears you, it’s not communication.