HOW TO COMMUNICATE 
IN A MODERN WORLD

   There is a Miss Manners, a Dear Abby and a host of other advice columns. And now there is one more, at least for today. Meet the Doctor of Communications, aka Dr. C, who will answer all your etiquette questions related to email, texting and cell phone calling in this modern world.
   Dear Dr. C: I have a really good friend who likes to talk on the phone. She recently bought a new car with hands-free voice control calling. She also has a long commute. I don't want to lose her as a friend, but she's driving me friggin' crazy with her constant calling. What should I do? Signed, Car Chat victim..
   Dear Car Chat victim: Dr. C can relate. Dr. C has a friend who often drives 2 hours to Sacramento for work and drives home during dinner hour, which is when he likes to call and chat. Dr. C wants to kill him. However, Dr. C usually just tells him that he will call him back as soon as Dr. C is in the car with nothing to do. While we always appreciate a friend reaching out, it would be nice if someone developed an app that notified friends that both parties are driving and available for conversation. Until that happens, Dr. C suggests that when your friend calls, ask if she's driving. If she says yes, hang up.
   Dear Dr. C: Like many people, I send a lot of personal and business emails. Naturally, I expect a response, but I'm perplexed as to the appropriate length of time before I receive a response. Some people take forever, some don't respond at all, and some respond immediately. Is there a guideline you can offer that will help me not only understand others, but help me to determine my own response time? Signed, Anxiety Ridden Emailer.
   Dear Anxiety Ridden Emailer: First of all, Dr. C responds to every email he receives, because he doesn't want to ignore anyone. Secondly, Dr. C never responds immediately, because he is a shallow individual who doesn't want anyone to think he isn't busy and doesn't have more important things to do. So even though Dr. C often reads an email as soon as it comes in and is perfectly capable of an instant response, he waits at least a few hours to prove what a busy guy he is. Dr. C has at least one friend who always responds immediately, and it is intimidating. He is very busy and very successful, and Dr. C hates him for his lack of shallowness. Anyway, in answer to your question, Dr. C suggests the 24 hour rule: If you don't answer an email in 24 hours, you're not just shallow, you're rude.
   Dear Dr. C: I'm a novice texter, and I'm worried that I'll text something that will be taken the wrong way. Is there anything I can do to insure my texting partner won't think I'm a complete knucklehead? Signed, Texter With Trepidation.
   Dear Texter With Trepidation: Your fears are well founded. Texting has shattered many a relationship. Not only do novices accidentally send texts to the wrong recipient, a misplaced word can create hurt feelings. For example, just last week Dr. C's son texted that he would be coming over for dinner. Dr. C texted back "Great." Dr. C's son responded "An exclamation point wouldn't kill ya!" Dr. C learned a lesson that he's now sharing with novices like you. Never underestimate the power of exclamation points!
   Dear Dr. C: Why do people want to have long text conversations when they can just push one button on speed dial and actually talk to the other person? Signed, Tired Of Typing.
   Dear Tired Of Typing:
Excellent question.
   Dear Dr. C: I'm thinking of opening a Twitter account, but I don't understand all this hashtag stuff. Can you explain? Signed, Twitter Wannabe.
   Dear Twitter Wannabe: You obviously think Dr. C is younger and smarter than he actually is. Please send all Twitter questions to the White House.
   Dear Dr. C: I received a handwritten personal letter in the mail the other day. How should I respond? Signed, Confused.
   Dear Confused: First you should fondle and caress the letter, and then lovingly smell it. Then perhaps you should frame it as a historical relic. As for responding, the old geezer who sent it to you will have probably passed away by the time your response gets to him or her, so don't bother.

 

Home     |      About     |    Columns     |     Contact          

2006-2017 hoppecolumns.com 
All rights reserved.