Tonight I was responding to an email from someone that I’ve never met. As I answered the questions from the sender, I was struck by how much I prefer face-to-face communication. I would take a coffee chat over a phone call or email anyday. Emails can be a necessary and even helpful tool for communicating with people. Every day at work I receive emails from law enforcement and dealers that I’ve never met. Some of them I’ve spoken to on the phone but even that’s not the same as face-to-face time. I suppose that’s part of why I enjoy the traveling because I finally get to put a face with an email address or a face with a voice.
But tonight I was writing an email and thinking about how flat that communication seems. The other person doesn’t know me so they have no idea what tone I’m trying to convey, they don’t know my personality or my character, and probably won’t know if I’m teasing them. It’s just flat words on a screen. And must can be lost through email. The lack of facial expressions and other non verbal communication makes email a challenging form of communication.
And it’s in these situations that I realize you have to be careful with your words. I love words, as evidenced by this blog. Writing is something that I am passionate about. But writing to a stranger is something different all together. Sometimes I just want to say, “Can we just forget this email thing and just get together?” But that generally doesn’t work….especially if it’s an officer from Dublin or Prague. 🙂