“According to Nielsen data, voice usage has been dropping in every age group except for those past the of age of 54. Text is just easier.
“Now, 78 percent of teens recognize the functionality and convenience of SMS, considering it easier (22 percent) and faster (20 percent) than voice calls (though still fun). Voice activity has decreased 14 percent among teens, who average 646 minutes talking on the phone per month.”
There was once a time that I could not conduct my day job as a Recruiter without the telephone. It was (and in my view still is judging by the number of calls on my call log) the business critical tool. Is this changing?
Nothing gets done without talking with each other. We feed off others, we need to communicate. People love people, evidence the rise and rise of Facebook. What happens if we simply stop talking with each other?
Think this through however and I realise we are still communicating, we are just finding ever more efficient methods of so doing.
I have recently spent a great deal of time in hotel lounges packed with people conducting business meetings, face to face, talking, engaging, communicating. Face to face works because we have the benefit of facial expression, intonation of voice, body language that we simply don’t get from SMS or other forms of electronic communication.
However as I reflected on just how my meetings in these venues came about, I thought about the mechanics of how they had been achieved.
The initial introductions were communicated by email and followed up with a phone call. Meetings were confirmed electronically, followed by SMS or other forms of messaging to confirm arrangements on the day. Meetings were followed up electronically (again usually email). All things that perhaps as little as two years ago would have been handled in a telephone conversation.
SMS, email, electronic forms of communication are more efficient, allowing us to get to more of the face to face stuff. I look at my desk, there is not a dial-up hand – set in sight. Yes I have the mobile, but Skype is open in the browser. I don’t need the traditional handset anymore to do my job effectively. I need to be able to communicate, sure and I fail to see as a recruiter how you can do your job at all well without meeting candidates face to face. However my ability to stay in touch, to communicate is massively enhanced by the plethora of electronic forms of communication that are right in front of me.
All of this however worries me. I can name a couple who would sit in the same room and text each (it didn’t last). Is our increasing reliance on technology meaning we communicate more but talk (and indeed listen) less? I cannot imagine a time when an interview will be conducted by SMS, Instant Messenger or email. (Skype is a different story, it already has enormous value). I cannot imagine hiring someone without the benefit of a face to face meeting.
The traditional dial – up call may well be in decline, but you cannot email a handshake. Long live the handshake, let’s not let it die.