The More Digital We’ve Become The More Analog We Need to Be
There’s no doubt about it. The web, the cloud, and the Iphone in our pocket have revolutionized our lives in dramatic ways. My 13-year old son thinks “Door-Dash” is what you can have for dinner (no, it’s a service that delivers your dinner). Putting that aside, my thesis in this article is that we must be more analog in the digital age more than ever before. By analog, I mean the need to re-inject the human element both in the workplace and at home.
Just taking the workplace, so many of us rely on email when the person we are talking to is next-door. Sure, it’s fast, habitual, and dare I say more polite (because we don’t want to intrude on our co-worker’s time). Lord forbid that we call anyone now; some of us get mad when we get a phone call especially from someone we don’t even know!
There are three reasons I think being analog is superior to relying on digital.
One, trust. Communication is a matter of trust and not of technique. We all know that the more we talk to someone, whether in person or otherwise, it builds equity (positive or negative). It’s hard to judge that in cyberspace.
Two: let your client know he’s special. What? Yup. How many of us research and find out that the prospective client loves baseball and sends him his favorite player’s jersey as a greeting? Very few. Engaging the prospect in such a deep way obviously will single yourself out as above the pack. It makes the prospect special. And he should be if you’re taking the time to target him in the first place.
Three, you’re human. I know this is a shocker. As awesome iOS 12 will likely be (especially the Walkie Talkie feature), walking over to your secretary and actually saying, “good morning” to her and genuinely asking how her weekend was will go way further than any email. Being human and “live” in front of someone can convey assurances that no combination of “zeroes and ones” ever could. You can use exclamation marks, and bold your text ’til Kingdom come, but your facial expressions of satisfaction and delight will imprint confidence onto your client like no emoji ever will.
Don’t get me wrong. Digital is awesome. Ironically, isn’t that what I am doing here? You didn’t think I would be that self-aware, huh? Anecdotally, so much of the necessary and mission-critical conversation in the marketplace are digitized and transmitted through fiber as opposed to conveyed face-to-face. I am personally guilty of this.
In the end, nothing really replaces a face-to-face encounters, or a hand-written letter. Even though it’s not always practical, it takes mature judgment to know when to lift our fingers off the keypad and knock on our distressed co-worker’s door instead. Maybe even with a baseball jersey in hand.