I have a very social group of friends. Every time one of us plans an outing, it always has to be done through email, or maybe text messaging. The end result is a lot of email threads and random discussion. If I’m unable to attend the event being planned, I must ignore the emails piling up in my inbox as final details are discussed. No option exists to remove myself from the conversation.
Social media seems like it should be a great way to make plans, but it doesn’t stand up to other more reliable forms, unless all of your contacts happen to be using the same type of social media and check it regularly. Inevitably at least one important guest refuses to be on Facebook, or is only on Twitter and everybody else is on Google +. This is similar to the challenges raised in an earlier post on Fragmented Discourse when making plans. With more options than ever for communication, why does it still feel so complicated and fragmented sometimes?
With email, it is really easy to add another person to the thread. You simply add their email address and hit send. In most cases with social media, however, an additional step is added to the process by requiring you and the recipient to be connected in some way (friend, follow, link, connect, etc.) before making contact.
The benefit of an email address or phone number is that they are all compatible with each other. It doesn’t matter if I’m thedeletist@gmail or @hotmail or @yahoo, they can all communicate with one another. The same is true for phone numbers. The style of phone or carrier doesn’t matter, only the digits, which can be used for calling or texting.
Can the same standard be replicated with social media? Do we need so many different ways to be contacted and contact others?
I think it’s a little bit crazy that I can be contacted through snail mail, email (multiple accounts), phone (calls & text), and 3 separate social media applications. I do realize I can invest in some sort of dashboard application to manage everything more effectively, but maybe I should just try to manage less and eliminate some of my accounts.
Would you, or do you, prefer to use social media over email to make plans?