I have argued for several years now that business (actually, overall society) is becoming more and more rude. And I think technology is the primary culprit.
Example #1: Voicemail and email have allowed us to hide from business associates for some time now.
Example #2: We now speak in 140-character thoughts. Twitter won’t let us go any deeper with our ideas. And we can broadcast venomous comments with little fear of consequence.
Example #3: We constantly check our smartphone for that next “important” Facebook update or Tweet rather than look at the person right in front us directly in the eyes.
My most recent example? LinkedIn just notified me that a business associate is celebrating her 25th year at the same company. That is an amazing accomplishment! And with the touch of one key on my laptop, I can say “Congrats.”
That’s it! That’s all it takes. No effort at all to offer my congratulations for this outstanding accomplishment. In fact, in just about 30 seconds, I can send out all kinds of “Congrats” notes. Add a few more seconds and I can “Like” dozens of things.
So just how heart-felt are all of my congratulatory notes? Yes, I am sincere in sending my wishes and without this technology, I might not even know my friend was celebrating her big accomplishment. But just a touch of a button? Really? That’s all the time I have for my friend?
Now before anyone puts a halo over my head, let me say I’m not sending my friend a congratulations card. Sadly, sending personal, hand-written notes is a lost art and I wish I took this step more often.
But I will do my best to keep some level of personal touch in business but refusing to simply say, “Congrats”. In fact, “Congratulations” is on my banned list as well. To convey my sincere thoughts, I will at least add a sentence or two before hitting the return button.
So, congratulations, Kim. Wow – 25 years! We don’t see that too often these days. Have a great celebration and I hope year #26 is your best ever!
Darren K. Ford
I've enjoyed a great career. Worked in many different industries with great coworkers and customers. I talk to a lot of people while drinking a lot of coffee. I read constantly. From all of this, I have much to say.