Day 181 — You’ve Got….

No EvilThe relationship between the growth of social networks and our ability to interact shares an inverse relationship like the price and interest rates on bonds.

The more social networks grow, the less we interact.

Talking face to face to one another is a lost art, supplanted by email, autoesponders, text messages, Facebook status updates, 140-character tweets and animated emoticons Purr.

The guiltiest gavel goes to Human Resource (HR) departments, which rely on the veil of autoresponders to shield them from dealing with job-thirsty candidates. “No phone calls please” is their mantra in job ads.

Why, I ask?

Why don’t recruiters want to talk to and meet with potential job candidates? “Too busy” is their overused answer.

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t let robotic database searches cull candidates to fill job vacancies to enrich our knowledge-based economy. After all, career counseling experts emphasize the importance of networking to find a job, which should mean picking up the phone but often means blasting email to former colleagues.

But a good chat flies in the face of HR practices.

I think we are all guilty of relying on one-dimensional communication at one time or another. It’s easy, quick and lets us deal with uncomfortable situations in a comfortable way. Following up on the status of a job application is often an unpleasant task. No response from an email query is often the HR response.

I find this also applies to the personas one can expect to encounter with online dating. Men fall into one of three categories: The Eager Beavers, The Coffee Clatch Club or the Dancing Princes.

The Eager Beavers openly acknowledge that email isn’t their thing, and they want to meet you right away. Sometimes, no doubt, it is true they don’t like to write. I think more often they use it as an excuse to skip right to a meeting because their goal is to evaluate your f—kability and, if you pass, hit on you for sex as soon as they can.

The coffee date is the raison d’être of the online dating crowd. Members of the Coffee Clatch Club move, after a few exchanges of email, to an invitation for a cup of coffee. No big deal, just coffee. Who could say no to that, right? If you say no, they’ll suggest a phone call, but their goal is to get you into a convenient Starbucks, spend as little money as possible and then see what happens.

The Dancing Princes simply skirt the whole question of meeting in person. They communicate almost exclusively through the keyboard. Their social life powers up at login and powers down with the click of the “Shut Down” link. In between, I imagine they live in hibernation mode. I also imagine these guys as being good at text but lousy at sex, but who will ever know for sure?

So, how do we go back to communicating effectively? How about a simple pledge that works like electronically simulated eye contact when we email/text/tweet/Facebook to the people we’re communicating with — “For the next entire minute, I am going to be paying attention only to you.”

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