April 28, 2014
In a recent exchange with a Developer, I received the following message via AOL’s IM, “I replied to you on Skype.” I paused and was struck by how many communication channels are available to us. I could use my cellular typing device to call (yes, actually use the device as a phone), send a text, email, Skype, private message on Facebook or continue the dialogue on IM.
Ultimately, what prevailed was perhaps the most fundamental and least used communication option: I walked upstairs and sat down at his work station for a face-face conversation. We quickly resolved the question at hand. But I was also able to gauge the kind of day he was having, learn what is going on in his life outside work hours, see the personal items on his desk and ask what they mean and share a piece of myself as well.
I am reminded that while we work, and largely live, in an electronic/digital world, we are first and foremost human beings. Squishy, water-based entities with emotions and an innate drive for connection with others should not just be satisfied with keystrokes, emoticons or digital communication options. Every now and then, push away from the desk, talk a walk and see not just what is around you, but who in their full human being-ness.
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