Technology and Humanity//

What a Text From My Daughter at 2:30 A.M. Taught Me About Communication

Don’t assume your audience has the same expectation and understanding that you do

I’m sleep deprived. Or more accurately, sleep disrupted.

All this week, our eldest daughter has been texting me very late at night/early in the morning. She’s in France with other students as part of a two-week immersion program.

And apparently, she hasn’t mastered the fine art of time zones.

This morning (well, MY morning) we were messaging on Facebook, and I gently pointed out to her that when she texts me at 11:30 am local time, it’s 2:30 am for me.

Her response? “Oh, I don’t expect you to respond.”

She was treating her text as her Mom might an email — something that could be sent at any time, with the expectation that the intended receiver could respond at their leisure.

Except, I wasn’t on the same page.

When I received middle-of-the-night texts, my only frame of reference was middle-of-the-night phone calls. And nothing good ever comes from one.

I was on high alert. Adrenaline was coursing through my body. I was exhausted but couldn’t go back to sleep, even though there was no emergency.

The takeaway?

Don’t assume your audience has the same expectation and understanding that you do.

Ask for clarification.

And when you get it, make sure to enable the “Do Not Disturb” function on your phone.

Amy Blaschka is a branding and positioning expert who writes highly engaging content for companies and career professionals. She’d be delighted to help you, too.

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