There’s a descriptive word for my generation: the millennial. At least, I think I’m still young enough to be part of the millennial generation.
I’m certainly whiny enough.
Key Millennial Characteristics
- “You’re so two thousand and late” – Why yes, I do want that yesterday. I’m all about the instant gratification.
- “Squirrel!” – I checked facebook at least 5 times while writing this section of the post. Nothing really changed. But, like, I got bored writing.
- “Home is where my mom is” – Yes. I still live there. Yes. I’m 26. No. What problem?
- “OMG – do you like totes remember what it was like to use a Nokia 3330?” – we remember dial-up. Oh, the horror.
- “I just wanna be famous” – this picture:
- “You don’t know me” – I am an extrovert on twitter that RTs love, the Dalai Lama, and cute pictures of kittens; I’m dark and morbid on facebook, where I complain about bad service and election results; in person, I’m quite boring. #Schizo
- “I’ll live forever!” – when I die, there will be a memorial Facebook page where I will be immortalised in multi-filtered photographs with every fun border offered by the Camera Awesome app.
- “Sorry dad, let me put you on hands-free while I whatsapp you that address – GEEZLIKE, that guy just cut me off!” – multitasking. Like a boss (that’s about to have a facebook memorial page).
I also use my phone for everything that my computer used to be used for (texting and surfing the internet), and my computer for everything that my phone used to be used for (“I’ll skype you when I’m back at my lap top”).
But here’s my personal bête noire:
“But I don’t understand – I sent you an email!”
The Communication Priority List
Some rules of thumb:
When it’s urgent, call*.
*Followed by emailed summary of said call.
When it’s less urgent, sms/whatsapp*.
*Followed by emailed summary of said sms/whatsapp conversation.
When it’s life or death, arrive in person*.
*Followed by emailed summary of said visit.
When it’s irrelevant, email.
Email is not a primary communication device.
It is a secondary one.
What Email Is There For
- Documented proof that prior communication took place.
- Sending larger files and documents that reference said prior communication.
- Copying in other people in a general FYI sort of way.
- Covering one’s proverbial by sending emails that you know won’t be read (in case you get quizzed at a later date).
- Chain mail.
Of course, you can make email your primary communication device. No one is stopping you.
But you have to bear in mind that you’re going to be constantly and indefinitely superseded by the people that are busily phoning, visiting and smsing to get what they need.
And what email is definitely not there for
While I was looking around for material under the search phrase “email is evil”, I found a complaint by someone that had written to her boss complimenting her on how wonderful a boss she is, and then was devastated to discover that email forwarded on to a colleague (by said boss) with the tagline “I threw up”.
I too would have thrown up.
Because if you’re going to compliment someone, you do it in person; where general cheesiness can be balanced against sincerity and appropriately awkward body language.
Same thing with complaints and criticism.
When you use email like a windshield for human interaction, just remember that you’re driving through a maelstrom of emotion. The windshield just makes you feel like you can drive faster because it’s not happening in your face.
Which is the kind of life philosophy that ends in facebook memorial pages.