Social networking websites, email, instant messaging, text messaging and voice mail are just a few examples of electronic communication. Electronic communication has helped to change the way people communicate with each other. Used effectively, electronic communication can be very beneficial. However, various obstacles can prevent effective electronic communication. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses will aid you in conducting effective electronic communication.
Knowing the proper medium to communicate your message through is essential to effective electronic communication. Email is a common electronic communication method for sharing information with a mass amount of people. However, email is not necessarily the most effective electronic communication method. Many recipients of mass email will ignore or delete the email without reading.
For effective electronic communication, try to find a medium which will best suits your goals. If you have a message to communicate electronic publications are a worthy alternative to mass email. Blogs are an effective electronic communication medium for marketing. Many businesses use blogs to reach a new audience of potential customers.
Effective electronic communication has a clear message. For email, clarity begins with the subject line. Fill in a meaningful subject line which directly gets to the point of your message. For example, if you are emailing people you are in a book club with about your upcoming meeting dates, title your email "Upcoming Book Club Dates". This alerts your peers that the email contains important information.
The same goes for blogging. The title of your post should tell the reader exactly what your post is about. Also, breaking up what you have to say into small paragraphs helps to keep your message clear.
Electronic communication enables you to send a message to a mass number of people in a short period of time. Many academic institutions use email to spread information to students and faculty alike. In case of an emergency, such as the presence of an armed killer on a college campus, mass text messaging is beneficial in quickly informing people of the situation.
Social networking sites make staying in touch with friends and family easier. Blackberrys can allow you to enjoy more time with family or friends while at the same time having a connection to your employer in case of a work emergency.
The biggest weakness of electronic communication is the lack of communication reinforcement. In a face-to-face conversation nonverbal communication, such as tone of voice and body language, help to reaffirm the message you are sending. For example, if you make a sarcastic remark your tone of voice will help indicate that you were joking. Written messages, such as in an email or instant message, do not have a method of reinforcement. This can lead to messages becoming misinterpreted.
In regard to social networking sites, the lack of thought put into messages communicated is a weakness. Posting a message on a person's public networking site domain gives anyone in your own network the ability to see your message. Some networking sites do have an option to send a private message to another user. Thinking about whether to post a message publicly or send one privately is important to effective electronic communication.
Not being careful with how you use email can lead to server dysfunctions. A large number of emails going out at one time can overload the server, causing problems. Following certain guidelines will help prevent such problems: Send mass emails during low peak cyber traffic hours. The best time to send a mass email is between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. Combine smaller messages into one email and don't attach large documents.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Robert S. Donovan
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