So how 'bout it ?? Does such a thing exist with respect to the turnaround time expected on emails and texts? I'm not even going to get into Tweets. Frankly do not Tweet, I will never Tweet, and nobody can get me to Tweet. I don’t know where people find the time to follow each other's every move and quote of the day, much less respond in an efficient manner.
But back to E-mails and Texts: The poor, and inconsistent response time that I experience from some people, is in my opinion, in much need of a re-evaluation and maybe even its time to set socially accepted standards for such things. With technology advanced to the level it is today, is there really any excuse for hours or even days to go by, or even many minutes before someone gets around to a response? Honestly, we can access our messages from so many sources, and yes, I know it fully depends on the level to which people take advantage of technology, and so I realize there are many variables to consider …. Wow I can write a book.
Let’s start at the beginning; the initiation of the communication. I suppose one of the many variables rest with the person initiating the electronic communication. I feel we need to be somewhat aware of the person from whom we are expecting an efficient answer. Here, the burden lies with the initiator being realistic and knowledgeable of the recipient’s limitations. For example, and not to be presumptive or at the risk of labeling, but expecting an efficient and accurate answer from an elderly person, or someone who has a regularly scheduled daily activity such as exercise, or who works at a job that otherwise requires intense and explicit attention, would be unrealistic. As Clint once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations”, or in this case have some idea of the limitations of others and gauge those expectations accordingly.
Next, lets discuss technological issues that come into play once the message is initiated and how we should gauge our recipient’s response time. There is no doubt that cell signal strength, device capability, and speed all come into consideration. However, I would propose that if we know the recipient well enough to understand and accept his/her’s level of techno - savvy – response - time (TSRT) , we can assign an acceptable and relatively prompt response time. If we were to rate the recipient’s TSRT on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being inferior and 5 being excellent, the following should hold true and perhaps even be mathematically and proportionately equated:
Ability Rating TSRT
1 Who knows, expect nothing and anything is gravy
2 1 hour
3 30 minutes
4 15 minutes
5 Less than 2 minutes
Always keep in mind those variables that the initiator cannot control, and that which the recipient must, some of which is listed above, but not limited to and including:
1. Driving, although in-car voice recognition systems have made vast improvements.
2. At the movies
3. Out to dinner
4. In a business meeting
5. In a “water – challenged” environment
But at the end of the day, let’s please agree that we wanted this technology, or at least it’s probably safe to say that most of us did and dreamed about it since we were kids. Now we have it. Business has dictated that our time is less leisure and more tied to business and immediate gratification and communication. Options are endless because no planning is ever necessary as we can immediately communicate and alter our minute by minute activities, as the parents of teens are well aware. It’s all crazy and probably can’t work except in the ideal, cyborg world of the movies. Nevertheless, I feel we are faced with needing to do the best we can with our limited minds and superior technology. Days or weeks between electronic communication is probably not acceptable anymore no matter what the TSRT score.
We need it !