Timely Response

Timely Response --- RichardGabriel 2 Dec 2001

. . . You want to communicate with someone far away but that person is hard to get a hold of . . .

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We have friends, family, and colleagues who are hard to get a hold of. You send a letter and it's not answered; you phone and they never answer or return your call.

Some people have an aversion to phones, particularly when making a call into an unknown situation. Letters are slow to begin with, and because they are used for a slower rhythm of communication (RhythmOfConversation and SlowLetter).

But sometimes you need to get a hold of someone, and you'll do whatever it takes to get a response.


Send an textual electronic communication. For some reason---perhaps because it is a relatively new medium---people respond to email more rapidly than to other forms of communication. Transmission of such messages are nearly instantaneous, so there is a degree of immediacy that is interpreted sometimes as urgency, and this can instigate a quick response. Email, for example, tends to age and go stale in the inbox in a way that letters don't. Because people spend a lot of time with email, there is a potential reminder every time they go back to their email for whatever reason, while phone messages are apparent only when people are interacting with the phone-and then it is usually just a flashing light.

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It is also cheaper, so it has a lot of advantages. For sending messages quickly see LowOverheadMessages.


Last edited December 24, 2002
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