Some of us are still adjusting to all our new gadgets, and we must maintain our sense of humor as we create the manners of the new communication.
Now that we have 24/7 access to communication, the technology is not only always on, we are also always on…on call for everyone and every message. I can’t remember how long ago I abandoned land lines for wireless-only everything, but I have had only my mobile phone for years now, and it is always on, California time.
Now, many of us are always on call for international clients, elders, kids or Lojack. Trouble is, we are on call in every time zone of the world. I had to train AT& T to stop sending me text messages to sell me upgrades at 3:00 a.m. My New York client did me a favor one morning sending me a message at 5:00 a.m. EST (uh, 2:00 a.m. in L.A.) en route to LaGuardia.
One Saturday, my colleague, using a new technology call JOTT, sent a note to me, translated from voice, which reached my email and my cell phone text simultaneously, at 7:00 a.m. I happened to be awake, but my husband was not, and the text message (3 of them to cover the message) beeped incessantly near our pillows.
I am not without blame – I once called the CTO of one of my clients on his cell, forgetting he was in Russia. Really woke him up!
I love the new gadgets; I love the availability of constant access. Most of all, I love that technology allows me to time shift and to be anywhere anytime. So, for etiquette’s sake, consider your technology, your message’s urgency, and your recipient’s time zone (which you may not actually know). Time shifting is the blessing of technology – allow folks to use it to suit their lives.