Imagine the scenario. You’re running late for a meeting. You need to let the person you’re meeting know that you are running late. You reach for your mobile phone. What channel do you choose?
My experience over the past few months is that most people choose to send a text message. We have learned, somehow, that in these circumstances SMS is the appropriate medium.
It’s a daft choice. Most people these days that I will be meeting with have a smartphone. I have a smartphone. A phone call is obviously out of the question, because that would involve not only talking to someone (unless voicemail kicked in) but also having to apologise to them. That’s emotionally hard work.
You could tweet or LinkedIn or Facebook. Or Skype message or IM. Or send a message on Google+ (except no Google employees return my calls these days). Or FaceTime or SnapChat or What’s App. But most people won’t. They won’t even send an email, even though (particularly if I am negotiating the Underground where WiFi is now abundant) any of the above methods are more likely to get to me in a timely fashion than SMS which can be notoriously subject to delays.
But we text.
Because that is what we’ve learned to do.
Welcome to the illogical world of people and the way in which we choose to use technology*.
* BTW if any of the more OCD amongst you think it’s worth pointing out that you couldn’t FaceTime because I don’t use any Apple products, then you’ve missed the point.