Using the Right Technology for the Job.

So we've got all this awesome technology at our fingertips, and it can be a heady thing. But it's very easy to lose sight of how to use it properly and effectively. The biggest negative repercussion often stems from using the wrong technology for the particular job at hand. Here are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for.

Texting Taboos

Yes texting is great, fun, and easy to jot off a note. What texting is not is an adequate form of communication for anything remotely serious or life-changing. It is way too easy to write something that is misconstrued, or can be hurtful and dismissive if you are sending something important via this medium. Honor the subject matter and the person you're attempting to communicate with by using the right tool for the job.

The Need for Speed

I was once asked to introduce two colleagues via email in the hopes that they could one day work together. Within a day of getting the request I had contacted the other asking if he would be amenable to speaking with my other colleague. A day later I found out that the colleague requesting the introduction had seen fit to not only contact me with the request but to also go around me through Facebook to introduce himself personally (and I'm assuming using my name as the bridge). A couple of problems with this: First off it shows a lack of respect for me and my time; it also intimates that I'm not one to follow through on emails and requests. Not true. If you ask someone for assistance via any mode of communication remember to allow the appropriate length of time for a response, and by no means should you ask for assistance and then go on and do it yourself simultaneously; it's a good way to harm business relationships.

Lost in Translation

No matter how skilled the writer there is always room for misunderstanding when communicating via the written word. And as fine-tuned as it is, an important email can just go floating off into space without ever landing where you want it to. So it's astounding how many people still impart crucial information and life-changing “conversations” via email. If you write something and the recipient doesn't understand you it's not like they can quickly say, “Wait, do you mean this?” as in a regular conversation. Be careful when wanting to impart important news or discuss a potentially nebulous topic that you use the appropriate tool for it – pick up the phone to have a conversation or better yet make a date to sit face-to-face.

These are just a few ways most people habitually lose sight of how to work with all this cool gadgetry we've got; it's also a cautionary tale. Remember that modern technology is a remarkable and often life-enhancing thing. But it's up to us, the humans, to use this power for good.

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Written by Sarah Simpson. Need a mobile phone that can handle the big conversations?

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