Would you rather get a handwritten, heart-felt, spelling errors-and-all note through snail mail or a typed note, processed by spell-check and delivered to your e-mail in-box?
I donâ€™t know how my co-worker and I landed on this conversation on our drive back to the office after lunch today, but never-the-less, we couldnâ€™t see eye-to-eye on the matter.
She thinks Iâ€™m sappy (my word, not hers) and prefer objects over ideas.
Canâ€™t I have both?
E-mail is great for many things â€” reaching people on their schedule and getting information quickly without having to deal with extra conversation. Itâ€™s wonderful for business and arrives in monotone (sometimes I have a hard time deciding if someone is joking with me or being serious â€” thank goodness for smiley faces and emoticons!)
E-mailâ€™s biggest drawback is its impersonal tone.
Even Dear Abby agrees, according to a column published in the Daily Globe a few weeks ago.
In it, Abby said, “While composing a letter may always be a chore to some people, there are occasions when the written message is the only proper means of communication. It shows effort and can become a keepsake.” She also said a handwritten note is “much more memorable.”
While Kari is perfectly happy getting a thank-you note e-mailed to her (she keeps them), I read and delete. On the other hand, if a person took the time to send me a hand-written note, I display it on my desk and eventually put it in my drawer (to be taken out and read when Iâ€™m having a bad day.)
By the time we arrived back at the office, Kari was trying to convince me an e-mailed love letter was equally as personal as a handwritten one. Granted, Kariâ€™s handwriting is usually difficult to translate, but I know if she took her time and tried to write legibly, she could do it.
Do people even write love letters anymore â€” hand-written or typed? I don’t know … I guess that says a lot!
Technology has changed communication so much in recent years. There is a 10-year age difference between me and Kari, but I donâ€™t think that can even explain our difference of opinion on delivery of the written word.
She prefers e-mails and text messages, and I prefer face-to-face or telephone conversations.
Several months ago, Kari managed to block my phone number (not on purpose), sending my calls directly to her voicemail. This wouldnâ€™t be so bad if sheâ€™d listen to the voicemails, but she doesnâ€™t want to learn how to access her messages. She said she is â€œtrying to teach me to text.â€
With her education background in philosophy, she then wanted to â€œunderstandâ€ my preferred communication methods by rank.
I responded with face-to-face, telephone, e-mail, Skype (which I have no idea how to operate and no desire to learn) and text â€” thatâ€™s my order and Iâ€™m sticking to it!
Kariâ€™s response: Hmm.
And with that, our face-to-face conversation was over.