BlackBerrys and iPhones. More like CrackBerrys and i-can’t-stop-playing-with-my-Phones.
Addictive, efficient and, at times, an over-used substitute for good, old-fashioned talking.
According to a recent survey by textPlus, a texting app, 11 per cent of respondents felt it was appropriate to ask for a raise via texting, while 32 per cent think it’s okay to let their bosses know they’re taking a sick day by typing it on their mobile.
According to Dr. James Norrie, associate dean and professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, there’s a time and a place for such technology.
“(With) any high stakes communication, you should try to be using a high engagement communication method,” he says, such as the telephone or a face-to-face meeting. He says once certain factors are eliminated from the message, like tone or facial expression, there becomes a disconnect between the content and the context.
A 31-year old director’s assistant in New York — who wishes to remain anonymous — knows all too well about that disconnect. Because of her line of work, texting is an essential part of the job, but can sometimes create confusion. For example, the meaning in the limited number of words used can get lost in the airwaves. She recalls one episode when she received a vague message from her boss asking her to send a car.
“I had no idea where he was, where he wanted to go, etc.,” she says. “I tried to call him but he didn’t answer, so I texted him a bunch of questions and when I received one-word answers, it was hard to tell if he was annoyed with me or just annoyed he was stuck in the rain somewhere!”