RU ready 2 adapt?

I've never sent a text message. There, I said it. When people text me, I feel like they're being lazy. If they're picking up the phone anyway, why don't they call so we can engage in a real conversation? Most of my texting friends have stopped trying because, when I get their messages, I leave them a voice mail or, more likely, send an e-mail.
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Jun 01, 2009


Kerry Hillard Johnson
Ah, e-mail. Now there's an electronic communication I've fully embraced. I love it for lots of reasons, but here are the top two: It provides proof of who said what and I can use my in box as a virtual, paper-free filing cabinet.



Hypocritical, you say? Absolutely. I wouldn't refer to e-mail as warm and fuzzy. In fact, if I want to have a dialogue with someone—complete with laughter and body language—I pick up the phone or get up and walk to my colleague's desk.

Funny thing is, some have said that texting is the most personal form of communication going. The quick, convenient messages allow them to connect with people they otherwise wouldn't. Case in point: The high school senior who texts his mom from the baseball game.

Some practices have put texting and e-mailing to use in their client communications. Sending appointment reminders through cyberspace saves time and money. Then there are the trailblazing clinics that are building bridges with pet owners via Twitter, the social media Web site that forces you to "talk" in chunks of 140 characters or less.

To see what all the commotion was about, we started our own Twitter account. I'm still not down with the lingo—am I Twittering or Tweeting and what's with the pound sign?—but I'm enjoying it. Surprisingly, I've found it to be an intimate experience. I know when people wake up, what they eat for lunch, and which types of patients walk through their practice doors. (For a similar behind-the-scenes look at what we're up to, follow us @FirstlineMag.)

Typing in these short snippets has me reconsidering my anti-text stance. I'm thinking it's time to branch out. I've met some wonderful people through Twitter. Who else might I be missing?

Now let's spin that question around to you. Maybe it's time to try a new way of getting in touch with clients. (Learn to embrace the new by reading Be A Quick-Change Artist.) E-mails or Tweets or Pings might not be your favorites, but they may be a client's preferred communication mode. And if you reach just one more pet owner and, thus, keep just one more pet healthy, then that's a text message well sent.