The Lost Art of Verbal Communication

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This. This is one of my top 21st-century pet peeves. Yes, I needed something that is why I called. Otherwise I would have texted. Too much back and forth and in-depth information needs to be shared instead of fleeting texts. I understand that people are insanely busy these days and the amount of actual face-to-face and telephone correspondence has diminished, but there is something to be said about a personal encounter or a phone call—eye contact, reactions, expressions, tone of voice and subtle nuances not picked up in texts or DMs.

Perhaps we are entrenched in this the new generation of communication, as I watch my own children interact with their acquaintances more through Snapchat, their gaming systems, and texting, for example. So much so that when I witness the bus stop interactions or holiday gatherings, I see heads down buried deep into their phones and eye contact eliminated.

Stop lights are now being positioned in the streets and sidewalks for pedestrian safety; they don’t actually have to lift their head from their phones to the see the street light. Photo credit Interesting Engineering

As of a few years ago, Gallup did some research on how Americans communicate and texting, emailing and phone calls via a cell phone were the popular choices among the ages of 18-50. Americans 65 and older preferred cell phones, landlines (what’s that?) and email. “The younger the American, the more likely he or she is to communicate using these newer technologies, meaning millennials today are a generation that is highly “in touch” with their friends and relatives … It is also possible that younger Americans have simply been the quickest to embrace the communication capabilities that new technology represents, and that use of such technology will increase in older age cohorts as the millennials age in the years ahead,” said the report. I would have to think that if this same research was done today, social media and texting would be the overwhelmingly favorite choice to communicate.

Running A Business

When it comes to the contractor in the field, we asked some on our Trade Talk group ( about their preferred form of communication and most overwhelmingly replied that they prefer email or text so that the correspondence can be recorded or documented. One user commented, “Knowing what channels and methods your customers live in is so important. Giving them multiple ways to communicate with is key. Giving them the option to use what channel/method they prefer is the key.”

This somehow brings me to industry trade shows. As I recall, there were some media outlets that tried virtual trade shows throughout the years, and from what I gathered, they didn’t fare too well. I give credit for the creativity for sure, but you just can’t mimic one-on-one interaction and the ability to “touch” and test out certain products on the floor during the show. And, there is that ever so important connectivity you get with company reps and fellow tradesman while traversing a selected industry trade show. Yes, there are still a lot of trade shows, but there is still value there if the particular trade show is a specific target for you and your business.

Getting Social

According to statista (, market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts and currently sits at almost 2.41 billion monthly active users, followed by YouTube at 2 billion, with Instagram coming at 1 billion. According to the site, due to a constant presence in the lives of their users, social networks have a decidedly strong social impact. The blurring between offline and virtual life, as well as the concept of digital identity and online social interactions, are some of the aspects that have emerged in recent

Nevertheless, the wonderful community created on Instagram, for example, encourages support and communication, but better yet, when these people behind the user names and avatars get together for an Instagram meet up, this is where life-long friendships are made and solidified.

Getting back to the original text screen grab above. Is it possible that my number comes up and somebody just doesn’t want to talk at that given time? Nah, c’mon, I can’t believe that for a second. But we do live in a world with a shortened attention span, so the quick text and social media message are the preferred choice here in most instances.

The subtle irony here is that I am posting this to our site and through social media. At Mechanical Hub, we value our followers and interactions each and every day. We hope that we can meet you at a meet up, trade show or some industry event. Stay tuned for more on that …