In the great rock opera Tommy performed by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee The Who, one of the central songs is titled “See Me, Feel Me.” Tommy is all about a boy born blind and deaf. The early part of the story centers around his parents struggles to communicate with Tommy. He eventually becomes a gifted player of pinball machines and becomes The Pinball Wizard.
The song “See Me, Feel Me” is essentially a cry from within Tommy’s heart showing there is a real person inside wanting to communicate with others. The chorus goes “See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me.”
I bring all this up why? Here is the trend I see going on in business today. We would rather communicate with one another via text, email, fax, instant messaging, social media, etc. rather than simply picking up the telephone and having a meaningful conversation with someone.
I have found it increasingly difficult to get someone on the telephone these days. Voicemail has become everyone’s best friend – sometimes I wonder if these things ever get listened to. Receptionists have become experts in diversion. All the technology that we have at our fingertips these days is all good and useful. I’m afraid they have become a crutch for many and they will become more and more of a crutch as we develop a generation that does not know how to have a whimsical and insightful conversation.
Here’s the heart of the issue. With all these different ways to avoid hearing one another’s voice, we now have TIME to come up with a response that is either good, bad or an outright fallacy. One now can craft a response to look more intelligent, because if they had to come up with a response in the course of a face to face conversation they would look like they never graduated from grade school.
So to change the iconic words penned and performed by The Who over 40 years ago, here’s what one might sing today. “Text Me, Hashtag Me, Avoid Me, Like Me.”
Business worked pretty well with just a telephone many years ago. Let the technologies of today enhance our business, not replace the core of it – talking to people.