How to communicate in the modern world

Communication in the year 2012

There are so many ways to communicate now it’s hard to know which communication form to choose. You’ve got Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, text messages, phone calls, instant messaging, and many smaller avenues of communication.  So I’ve put together this handy guide to help you and everyone you know communicate better, save time, and reduce irritation. Please pass this on to everyone you know, so we will all be on the same page.

How you communicate should first be determined by the gravity of what you are communicating. If it’s serious, then use a serious form of communication. Don’t communicate to your mom that a family member has died via Facebook wall post.

How you communicate should also be determined by how quickly you want a response. If you need a response right away, then don’t send a letter.

Here is my handy list you can print and keep near you at all times to make sure you’re using the correct form of communication.  These are in order of importance. Meaning, the first thing on the list is the absolute best way to communicate, the last thing is the worst. The higher on the list, the more likely you are to get  a response, the lower it is more likely to be ignored.

1. Face to face meeting - forever this will be the best way to communicate, because 80% of communication is non-verbal and this allows you to communicate in person with your facial expressions and hand gestures (BTW, 80% of all statistics are made up). This is appropriate for every kind of communication, no matter how serious or silly. However, it’s not necessary for every situation. Things that must be communicated face to face: engagements, deaths, breakups.

2. Phone call - If you can’t meet face to face, but you have something important to share or you need an immediate response, use the phone. You can still communicate tone, and it says “Hey, I took the time to call you and stop what I was doing to take care of this issue”. Also, it’s easy to do while driving, without turning yourself into a marauding death machine (aka, texting while driving).

3. Email - It says this is important enough that I took the time to write you an email, but not important enough to call. It’s also a great way to communicate a lot of information to  many people all at once. While this has been abused, it is still a great boost to productivity. Where it goes wrong is when people use email to try to solve interpersonal problems that really need to be handled by a phone call, or better yet a face to face meeting.

4. Text Message - Just using a text says “I’m too busy to put much thought into this, so I’ll just jam this out on my phone real quick”. If it’s at all serious, then don’t use a text message. If it’s something super basic, then texts are great. It’s wildly inappropriate to any serious relational business via text, unless you are stuck in a meeting or a subway.

5. Facebook Message - Love it or hate it, Facebook is a beast and many people use it as a reliable means of communication. Here is the problem, most people don’t. If you send someone a Facebook message, your chance of getting a response is very slim. Why? Because Facebook isn’t a serious medium to take care of important information unless you are in junior high. It also communicates that “I don’t have any other way to communicate with you”, because I haven’t taken time to hunt down your email address or your phone number.

6. Facebook wall post - this shouldn’t be used for any form of communication other than sharing interesting facts with a person. If you need proof of this then just visit (warning, rated R).

7. Twitter - If you use Twitter to make plans for Saturday night, stop it.  That’s annoying. Twitter isn’t for that, it has an entirely different purpose.

8. My Space message - stop reading this blog and please return to 2003.

9. Letter - Great way to communicate, too bad nobody does this anymore unless they are at camp or in the military.

Other forms receiving votes - Instagram, Telegram, Candygram, Dancing messenger, passing a note in class, carving a note on a tree, and attaching a note to a rock and tossing it through someone’s window. 


Printable list, order of communication if you want a response.


1. Face to Face

2. Phone Call

3. Email

4. Text Message

5. Facebook Message

6. Facebook Wall Post

7. Twitter

8. My Space Message

9. Letter


Feel free to disagree in the comments below…..