Digital communication is great. However, one of the inherent problems with any kind of communication that isn’t in real time is the fact that messages, text, notes, voicemail, etc., can get lost, misplaced, avoided, blocked, or any other number of things that result in the communication not getting across. And that can be real trouble.
So how do you avoid this? How do you make sure that your digital communication is received at the other end? Five tips specifically for making sure that messages get to where you want them is to understand how read receipts work, use present confirmation codes with people, use multiple media checks, understand timestamps, and always have a backup plan of some sort.
There are a few main places where read receipts occur. You can get them set up for email, which is a big one, and then you can have them set up for text messages through certain apps. The cool part about these systems is that they’re automatic and easy to check back on. If you sent something on a Friday at 5pm and got a read receipt on Saturday at 11am, then you know exactly when a text, message, or email was officially looked at with an app. This is great for both the sender and receiver in terms of organization.
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Confirmation codes are a bit more casual between people, but are just as useful. When you get a communication of some sort from someone, by replying with something like ‘roger’ or even the single ‘k’, or ‘yes’ or ‘no’, you’re completing the feedback loop. The only tiny problem with this is that if your return message doesn’t go through, they may not have received your receipt. See what digital communication gets sloppy sometimes!
Multiple Media Checks
If you’re not sure if a message went through, a good thing to do is do a multiple media check. This means if you don’t know if a text went through, then call a person directly. If you don’t know if an email went through, leave a text. The more avenues you have to prove that you were sending a message, the better off you’ll be. It means people can’t plausibly deny or ignore you.
Time stamps are a big part of making sure digital communication goes through. Almost all digital messages are stamped when they leave your device (some of them even professionally and legally) when they get to someone else’s device, and then when they’re read. These are the three most important parts of the communication puzzle.
And finally, if for some reason, a type of communication goes down that’s your primary way of talking to important people, make sure that both parties know what the next line down the priority list is. This is particularly important in case of emergencies.