Sometimes you need to be truly deprived of something before you understand just how important it is in your life. Since the pandemic hit, the most pronounced shortage we’ve seen isn’t toilet paper, but human contact.
While the lack of face-to-face communication isn’t a new issue – it has been further accentuated as everyone has been plunged into a digital existence. In a world where messages travel the globe in real time and many people are working remotely, there is a temptation to draw further away from one another.
Logged In, Checked Out
Technology has advanced at a mind-bending pace, and we’ve worked hard to use those innovations to increase speed, efficiency and productivity. However, in the race to work faster and smarter, we’ve lost some of that connection to one another. While technology definitely makes jobs easier and more efficient, it cannot replace the importance of the original face time.
Too many people have gotten used to hiding behind emails and texts. It’s easier than confronting hard issues. What it is, in reality, is cowardice. Technology has made it easy to “ghost” someone, to blow someone off, or to just avoid the tough conversations. As an example, just before the pandemic struck, we received an email from a junior purchasing director from one of our long-standing clients. Rather than pick up the phone, they chose to sever a 20-year relationship via email – passing the duty off to someone we had never even met. More than anything they had ever said or done, this spoke volumes about the company’s character. And it was further proof that technology was destroying human interaction.
Redefining Being Present
Despite all the potential to be more connected than ever, we have been squandering it by using our resources in the wrong ways for the wrong reasons. But, ironically, now that we are in the face of isolation and a global pandemic that is pushing both people and the technology they built to their limits, we’re seeing innovative ways people are trying to come together.
Although they can’t meet up at their favorite bar, friends are getting dressed up and having virtual happy hours from their living rooms. And though our offices are closed, we at JFG have Zoom meetings and mental health check-ins every week. What’s really important in both of these scenarios is the face-to-face contact.
For a while in our business, it seemed like communication and working relationships were growing more and more distant. So much is done via email under the guise of simplicity and speed. But there’s far more value in building personal relationships with colleagues and clients.
And while plenty of matters can and should be handled via email, other things deserve more of a personal touch. Email and text have made it so easy for people who simply don’t have the common courtesy or courage to face a situation in person – or, at the very least, over the phone. Technology has made it easy to be impersonal and impolite, hidden behind our screens and not needing to face an issue head on. What you say certainly matters, but how you say it matters just as much – and sometimes even more.
It seems now, however, that tides are changing a bit once again – this time back toward the importance of seeing each other. Now that we don’t have the option to see each other in person, we can see how crucial it is to stay connected face-to-face. In a time where our technology has made it possible even in difficult circumstances, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of the opportunity.
In This Together
As it turns out, a lot of us actually need and depend on each other quite a lot, and this crisis is showing us that there is always a way to connect that won’t get lost in a text-to-speech translation, especially since we have the technology to do it better.
Better communication leads to better relationships, better relationships lead to better collaborations, and better collaborations lead to work we can all be proud of.
At JFG, we make communicating with our clients a top priority and never understate how important it is for us to understand their business, vision and goals. And when it comes to the tough stuff, we’ll always tell you how it is (in person or over the phone), not hide behind an email. If you’re looking for a strategic marketing partner that will truly collaborate and work with you to accomplish your goals, give us a call at 716.433.7688 or contact us here.