The imperfect world of hypercommunication

The pie starts ringing. The sunny sky turns puke green, melting into a black abyss, as the great Cornholio rises out of the ground shouting, “You’re fucked, you’re fucked, you’re fucked!” I’m running away, arms flailing, screaming in horror at the melting sky, crumbling earth, wind and fire. I then hear:

Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day

The fact that it’s November (not September) wakes me. When I wake, I’m 100% awake immediately. I work at home, and I love my work, so I generally rise, head the twenty or so steps right into the office, and begin working straightaway. Before social media, my work mornings peacefully began with work, email, and more work.

I’m now so connected it makes me dizzy. You too? I write a blog post, and it automagically updates my Twitter account which automaniacally updates my Facebook page and FriendFeed. My RSS feeds and email lists are also updated with the new post, and people write me email to comment or offer their experiences. (I would l-o-v-e it if people would comment right in the comments section below my posts, but they don’t. [Try it, you’ll like it!])

So what happens when one of these communication mechanisms fails? Utter chaos.

Someone schedules me for a meeting via some online tool that sends an email in the wee hours of the morning, but the email doesn’t show up. I’m asleep when the meeting is happening, but I don’t know it. The client calls, the rep calls, and I’m dreaming of blissfully sunny skies and raspberry pie so nice, completely unaware of a meeting of great minds and a motivated team. And then the ‘ba de ya’ lyrics…

My point? Oh yes, that. Adding more steps to the prelude to a conversation is an ineffective means of communicating. I’m going to rely less on technology and more on good ole fashioned 1-2-step communication to make sure we continue running a smoothly gliding train.

Facebook messaging is a failure of communication
If you’re relying on me getting an email that’s sent from Facebook to tell me I have a message on Facebook, in which there is a link to a Facebook page that I first must log in to, then read and reply, so you get an email saying there’s a message waiting for you on Facebook, well, that’s setting up a failure of communication. It is literally and needlessly adding at least 3-4 extra steps to the communication process with no overt benefit.

Not intending to pick on Facebook here (well, maybe a little). The fact is that all online tools have a fail ratio. They all fail at some point.

Most of us are equipped with the awesome ability to speak to each other or zip off a quick email. I’m going with those.

If you want to get in touch, email me. If you have an urgent need, call me. I check email three times per day. If you don’t hear back in roughly 24 hours, you can assume that either I’m sick, on vacation, or Cornholio has killed me. I respond to every legitimate email I get, and I love hearing from people. Ba de ya.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Thank you! This is going to feel good.

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