There is an appropriate way to communicate & network …
With the growing number of ways in which people interact with you, do you sometimes feel there is no breathing room at all? Like there is no privacy? Like you can’t hide even when you want to enjoy a few moments of complete peace and silence? I have begun to feel that way sometimes. Partly it is my fault for having my mobile number, my email address, and my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn ID on my visiting card. Yes I want people to be in touch with me but I want them to use some common sense.
1. Why should someone who is not a close friend or relative call me on my mobile phone after working hours or on weekends unless there is an emergency? Do I need to define the word emergency?
2. Why is it that when someone calls me on my mobile phone during the day, and I do not respond, they don’t understand that it is not convenient for me to answer the phone at that very moment? I could be in a meeting or conference or may just not want to be interrupted at that particular time. So why call me 20 times and send me a dozen SMSes demanding to know why I am not attending the call? If I don’t answer, there has to be a reason so please be patient – just send me an SMS asking me to call back and I will.
3. I have been accused of befriending a lot of people on Facebook. I do that because it is a great way to communicate with a community of people especially young University students who need to be aware of what is happening in terms of policy and innovation. However, my Facebook connection, like my laptop, is on all the time. That does not necessarily mean that I am on Facebook. So messaging me on Facebook chat just to say hello, how are you may be okay but if I don’t respond, there is no need to panic and start asking “Ma’am why are you ignoring me?”
4. Many of us receive hundreds of emails a day and it is not always possible to answer all of them. One has to prioritize and handle the urgent ones first. It is also possible that your email could slip through the cracks or end up in my spam folder. Don’t be heartbroken. Just give me a bit of time and then re-send it if you don’t hear from me.
5. The Facebook Wall – I have left the settings open so that if there is anything relevant that someone wants to post, they can, but when people start posting their sales messages and flyers on my wall, I begin to lose it. Please remember it is my wall. Tag me in photos or cartoons or advocacy messages but please refrain from posting political or commercial messages. Respect my space.
6. If you want to meet with me, call my office. Make an appointment. Don’t just walk in. I will probably not be there and even if I am, I may be in another meeting. Save your time and respect mine. If you have made an appointment to meet with me, please be on time. It shows me that you value time.
7. If you comment on my blog, don’t be anonymous. You know who I am. I should know who you are otherwise your opinion doesn’t hold much value. I didn’t moderate the comments on my blog to begin with but then I started doing it because sometimes people would use the opportunity to post defamatory comments against other people or they would just try and be negative about someone for the sake of “bringing them down”. It is my blog. I believe in free speech but I also believe that with free speech comes a certain responsibility.