It was my birthday a few days ago and I received wishes from people through various channels of communication available to them out there. One of my best friends decided to meet me in person and showed up at the door in the evening with a gift. Few of them wished me on Whatsapp while others wrote down ‘happy birthday’ on my Facebook wall. Some dropped me message on Facebook messenger and couple of them went onto LinkedIn to wish me. Few close to my heart called me up while some special ones decided to catch me over email. I received wishes over SMS. And, I talked with my dear sister face to face on video call too.
At the end of the day I was overwhelmed with love shown by the people in my life. Every single ‘happy birthday’ touched my heart as it involved their will to wish me. In today’s techno world I don’t find ‘I was too busy’ & ‘I didn’t have time’ very convincing. The people, who want to reach you, will reach you anyhow. A lesson relearned.
So, the day got me thinking of my way of handling communication using different channels. The world shrank when the technology evolved to the greater extent. In the area of communication, we have witnessed a great improvement. With smart phones filled with smart apps, people are just a fingertip away. There are many options available to choose from when it comes to communication. Let me share my own choices and how I handle the contacts resided there.
Communication channels I use
I use a few of them. Direct calling over the phone is my personal favorite. It takes little time and involvement with the device plus conveys not only message but also emotions, intentions and mood of the person. You get the feel of talking with human.
Then comes the old way texting. I was somewhat addicted to text messaging during my college days, before the era of smart phones. I like texting people. I still send SMS to friends on special occasions. The main advantage is that, you don’t need internet connection to send the SMS and person is guaranteed to receive your message if he is in network coverage area. I don’t use data packs on my phone hence this option works for me in the need, like wishing people at the tick of twelve when I am away from WI-FI.
The third on the list are apps that don’t require your phone number. I like these apps very much. They are convenient to use and easy to go with. You need internet connection to use them but can rely on them for the delivery of messages. I use Facebook messenger on regular basis. I talk with most of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances here on Facebook messenger. I remember how we (my friend and I) used to talk over Google hangout as I had no access to Facebook at work. (I still don’t have access to phone and social media sites at work and I like it.) It was fun indeed.
I use apps that need your phone number for registration. Whatsapp is on the top of the list. I take these apps very seriously as they have become the part of our lives. They seek great attention and affect your life. I used to hate the app for taking so much space in people’s lives. I even had removed the app because it was addictive. Later on, I took control over the app and decided to use it wisely. I decided to go for second number and declared it as personal. I shared the number among a few with whom I talk often and consider them my family. I have my Whatsapp registered with my personal number. It keeps unwanted people out of my business plus I get much-needed peace of mind. I have used Google Allo in the past in the absence of personal number to keep things moving with my best friends. It was good experience too.
Free advice: Keep two phone numbers for yourself. Make one public and other personal. Use Whatsapp on personal number and keep unwanted people away.
I don’t like crowd. I don’t like group chats too. Especially when out of fifty, forty-nine seems unknown. Just to clarify, I am among those forty-nine. The conference audio call is horrible than group chat. I have had a very bad experience of that at work. So, basically I avoid getting engaged at the group level conversations. I prefer one to one conversations. I have this habit of sharing interesting stuff over the chat. I like to share my ideas, opinions, thoughts with people. I share articles, images and videos I find interesting/informative, over the message with my friends. I appreciate good work, good people and good looks too and sometimes pass compliments in written form when people are out of my reach. As a result, I end up having short conversations with people over unexpected platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Latest thing I passed on to my friends was this brand new song by Taylor Swift ‘You’re Gorgeous’. I loved the song and mostly the lines that says
Whisky on ice, Sunset and Vine
You’ve ruined my life, by not being mine
Over the few months I have developed a new category of friends. I call them Email friends jokingly. There was a time when we were together and close to each other. But life is unfair and you have to accept that. We now hardly talk but the bond between us is stronger than ever. We communicate through email only and may be that is what we both are comfortable at. What I appreciate is that even being at distance, we have somehow managed to stay connected.
Out of all, talking in person is my favorite. I like it when I get to meet people (not all people, only a few dear ones) in real. The in-person talks lasts long in the memories. One can argue that video calls do the same work but I am not convinced.
Why don’t I use single platform to communicate
I have been criticized for using so many different platforms for different people. I don’t know why but I like it this way. This is maybe because I have set preferences according to my need and level of comfort. The second thing could be of privacy. I have learned to respect the privacy of people. Some of them want to keep things personal like phone number. This case applies to people I befriended with over the internet. I am very bad at asking for their phone number hence I keep talking to them on the social media platforms. There had been days when I was using Google hangout to talk with one of my best friends and Google Allo for other and Whatsapp was in place too. Now, that was really weird scenario given the fact that we three were college friends and had each other’s phone numbers too. But, we decided to respect each other’s choices. Later, we laughed hard realizing what we were doing. Overall, it is all because of privacy, priority, comfort level and choices made.
How using different communication channels has benefited me
I have used all of them and I must say that they offer me great flexibility. I sometimes catch same person on messenger when not reachable on phone or vice versa. Also, it helps me set priorities for people. I am available all the time over my personal number for the ones with high on priority, like my family and few friends. I have kept people at work away from my personal life, sharing only my public number with them. Better you keep work out of your personal life.
This is the end of this little personal and lengthy article. Thank you for reading. Hit like if you liked the article. You can share your experiences in the comments below. I would love to know how many communication channels do you use and how do you manage them in your life. I like to communicate through comments too. 🙂
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