by Skip Cohen
“We tweet, we text, we e-mail. Everybody’s chatting, but is anybody listening? Why America needs to revive the vanishing art of conversation. We need to talk.”
That was the headline of a story by David Dudley in AARP magazine at least four years ago. So imagine what it’s like today!
One of my ongoing resolutions every year is to talk more and email less. I use the phone all the time. I often talk with photographers who I only know on Twitter or Facebook. It makes such a difference talking to somebody directly versus sending emails.
So, let’s find a way to talk more and email less! We don’t talk to each other enough. Instead, we tweet and email. Oh, let’s not forget my favorite pet peeve, texting! There’s nothing wrong with any of these, but we all need to do a better job of simply talking and preventing the art of conversation from becoming a lost art. It’s especially important since we’re all part of an industry that thrives on human contact. We’re in the business of capturing those special moments – moments of people interacting, not communicating via typing through a variety of devices.
So, here’s the challenge – see if you can match one phone call to anybody you know for every 2-3 emails you send, and texting somebody doesn’t count. This is about using your voice and really talking to friends and associates, no matter where they are.
I spend so much time on social media that every now and then I notice I’m spelling things phonetically as I struggle to capture a thought in just 140 characters. While it might B gr8 2 B able 2 do, we’re even frgetting how 2 rit! Photographers became “photogs” and then just “togs”…grammar is out the window, words like “at” have been replaced with @, two, to and too are just 2. I LOL…I LMAO and too often I look back just want to scream WTF!
David Dudley said it best in his close:
“We’re in danger of becoming a nation of hyperconnected hermits, thumbs furiously working our BlackBerrys!”
So David’s reference to BlackBerry’s is outdated, but not his reference to losing contact with people.
So, let’s clarify my point…it’s a balancing act. I’m not saying you need to dump social media. Social media is as necessary to building your business as a website is today or a yellow pages ad was twenty years ago. And, I love the way social media has made the world a smaller place. But, it’s a balancing act with personal contact and you’ve got to have both.
Keep the connections “live” with close friends and good customers and let’s not let having a live conversation with somebody become an obscure event!