How Texting Has Weakened Professional Communication, and What You Can Do About It
Communication is vital to a healthy career. Luckily, email has made professional communication quick and easy, and the convenience of near-instant communication means that it is a simple task to receive and convey large amounts of important information. However, the quick accessibility of email makes it easy to confuse it with instant messaging, and when nuances of texting invade your emails, your professional communication can suffer.
Texting has become the new form of informal communication, to the point where people are sometimes more comfortable with texting someone than calling or having a face-to-face conversation. Character limits and instant communication translates to people sending out quick snippets of their thoughts, rather than holding long conversations. Texting then gives rise to a new “language” where many words are reduced and rules are limited, creating chaos for your professional communications. With texting as today’s preferred form of communication, many people have grown so accustomed to this texting language that they are struggling to construct a proper sentence.
Nevertheless, texting has not quite ruined professional communication, and there are several proactive steps you can take to keep your formal communications looking sharp. Avoiding texting at work can help put your mind in the right gear, as texting’s shorthand will remain where it belongs – in your instant messaging app and social media profiles. While text-lingo may be great for taking notes, it is a good idea to remove the language of texting from your workday altogether. Texting will remain out of sight, out of mind – and, most importantly, out of your communications with other professionals.
Other tips for sharp emails include proofing and reading for pleasure. Scanning emails for mistakes at least once before hitting “send” may save you from little errors that can make you look sloppy or unprepared. Additionally, reading a novel, a magazine, or even an online blog during your lunch break can help you become accustomed to proper grammar and complete sentences. Just a little extra reading each day can oil the gears of your mind and make it easier to write clear and concise communications. Consider the evidence that reading can help increase critical thinking skills and reduce risk for dementia in later life, and there’s great incentive to read when you have a little free time.
Lastly, avoid emojis in your emails. Unless you are on very informal terms with your recipient, it is best to keep your communications as clean as possible, and this includes avoiding the extra clutter that emojis can create. Instead, simply add a nice “thank you” signature at the end of your emails and develop a reputation for being friendly. Just don’t forget to proofread before sending! In just a few days, you will be on your way to becoming an efficient communication expert.
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