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Please Stop Emailling – Please Start Calling.

Posted by J Powers at 9:57 AM on June 5, 2009

Tell me what you see with this email (remember you have to read up on this one):

to: Bill
from: Tom

Original Message:

Hey Bill – don’t have your email. call me: 555.4321

——–

to: Tom
from: Bill

Original Message:

Hey, Tom – Call me: 555.1234

——-

to: Bill
from: Tom

Original Message:

Hey Bill – call me: 555.4321

————-

I have 3 clients I have been waiting for answers from. I gave them my number and told them to call me when THEY have the time. After all, my schedule is looser than most. One just emailled me and said “Hey, I don’t know your phone number. Call me when you get some time.”

Really? If you scroll down the email, my phone number is sitting there. Heck, in my signature (which is on the email about 4-5 times about now), my phone number is all over the email and I still get the “Call me” message.

Have we gotten lazy? Are we afraid of talking on the phone? Are we going to a hidden-social type environment?

I remember when I was a kid, the phone was a major lifeline. We were annoyed because our parents did not get a second line or even call-waiting. My mom would be on the phone for 2 or more hours talking to an aunt or friend.

Now we sit behind a keyboard and screen.

I love email – I can communicate to many in a quick fashion. I even enjoy SMS. But I have a policy – more than 5 SMS messages and I am calling. More than 3 short emails and I am calling. Of course it also depends on if this should be in print or over the phone.

Still, it seems that nowadays we shy away from the phone – at least using it with it’s original intention. With newer phones we’ll have the ability to SMS AND IM AND Facebook AND MySpace AND Twitter and so much more, then why would we want to call?

Wouldn’t it be funny if someone released a phone that had no receiver on it? You can do everything but call someone.

Maybe we’re just not reading the emails. After all, how many times did I have the number in the email? 4-5? I still got an email back on “Call me”.

It could be a power struggle. I do have to admit – I have a couple emails where their number was in the email and I just sent one back with my number and asked to call me. Then you sit back and go “Hey! He called ME! Yeah! I’m the man!”

Well, I got to go. I have to make some phone calls. Then again, maybe I should email them back…

5 Comments

  1. From susabelle at 12:15 pm on June 5, 2009

    On the reverse side…there are people I don’t want to talk to. When I post something on Craigslist for free, I invariably get back a half-dozen responses that say “call Bob at 555-4928.” Y’know Bob (or Joe, Jorge, Borat, Scott…), if I’d wanted a phone call, I’d have put my phone number in the ad. You shouldn’t be trolling Craigslist for freebies if you can’t communicate with me the way I prefer – EMAIL.

    Yes, I am one of those rare people that just do NOT like talking on the phone. I will do it, obviously, it’s part of my job, but I avoid it whenever I can. I agree, for some a phone call is best, and I hate playing phone tag.

  2. From Mark at 1:05 pm on June 5, 2009

    I would usually rather talk to someone on the phone. You can cover so many more points in so much less time than you can with the back-and-forth of a hundred emails.
    However, any thing that requires documentation, whether for financial, liability, or just plain CYA reasons, email is the way to go.

  3. From Jillian C. York at 11:59 am on June 6, 2009

    “Wouldn’t it be funny if someone released a phone that had no receiver on it? You can do everything but call someone.”

    Yeah, it’s basically called the iPod Touch, and it’s MY lifeline.

    I can’t talk on the phone and multitask, but I can text/tweet/etc and do other things. I hate the phone. I hated it when I first got a cell phone and I hate it now. Give me SMS or give me death!

  4. From Tonya at 4:49 am on June 11, 2009

    The reason I prefer to email is I really don’t like talking on the phone. I do it when necessary. I have multiple jobs and I prefer email so that I have it as a written conversation that I can store up on the file server in my customer’s folder or in a trouble ticket. It’s easier to go back and see what that person was taking about. That way you avoid things getting on sticky notes and getting lost on your desk. Emails have time stamps and sticky notes don’t.

  5. From Bob at 12:09 pm on June 12, 2009

    I concur with Tonya. I much prefer email so there is a record of the conversation. I also find that phone calls drift off topic too easily and people insist on making small talk.

    I do engage in this power struggle. I will try to engage you by email even if you try to direct me to call. I have found myself disengaging business associates that insist on using the phone.

    I refuse to carry a cell phone, but I would be interested in the kind of device that Jillian describes: an iPod Touch with 3G data capability / an iPhone without the phone.