“E-Mail Gets an Instant Makeover” in the December 21st edition of The New York Times reports that using e-mail is a sign that you are sliding downhill into old age – which could be anyone over 25 these days. Texting has become the communication medium of choice for those on the other side of the age divide – a punctuation-less wasteland, complete with a language all its own.
Worrisome? Yes and no. Texting is instant gratification, often the hallmark of high levels of hormones surging through young bodies. But it has its place beyond trying to locate tonight’s hot spot. Texting is a valuable addition in the communications toolbox – especially when the communiqué needs to be read in real time. OK, and it’s also fun.
But for business use, e-mails still come way out ahead. E-mail gives you time to compose the important documents in the business world, shape the tone of the communication, and copy others with a need to know. They provide that very valuable “paper trail” when there is some dispute (did I really say paper?). Perhaps their biggest advantage is that they DON’T scream to be read upon receipt and DON’T demand an immediate response. What the kids don’t get is that most of us in the business world are busy working – serving clients, preparing briefs, making the donuts… whatever.
In the spirit of Christmas, I’d say: “Yes, Virginia, texting is awesome. But email lets you get more done – even if it’s not as fun.”