Our Many New Phones

Type Writer old phone We have really messed ourselves up, haven’t we? It used to be that we could expect correspondence from two (at most three) ways: phone, mail, face to face. Look at us now. Have we really improved the world?

I woke up this morning and realized that I now check the following:

  • Email (3 accounts)
  • Facebook
  • SMS/text
  • Twitter
  • Voicemail (woe to you who leave me voicemail)
  • Third Tribe Marketing
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Wave
  • Comments back to people who’ve commented on my blog or others (not always, but I try)
  • Contact form (thank you, Steve Brogan, for blocking and tackling most of this)
  • Face to face

I’m not alone. This isn’t just me doing this. Companies are faced with this.

Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6, has been talking about the “social phone” for a long time. “The social phone is ringing. Is your company answering?” That’s his line. I share it with as many companies as possible.

When we say it, what we’re saying is this: people have multiplied the methods by which they’re communicating. Whether or not you want to receive on all this various channels, people are speaking on them. It requires a lot of listening, a lot of processing, a lot more frenzy.

Why did we do it? Why do we set up all these channels to monitor? Because they all seem more useful when we start them. They all are more useful in one format or another. But they get quite burdensome taken en mass. We’ve taken on several methods that all require checking to stay abreast.

Heck, that’s why smartphones are pretty much required. My Droid lets me see all those various channels (well, most of them). It’s what we do.

Is it better for us? Is this what we should all be doing? How should we spend our time? What would we do to put the genie back in the bottle? Or could we?

Photo credit glen edelson

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