Friday Buzz: Why We Ignore Digital Communications

In the age of instant communication, why are people taking their sweet time to get back to us? Also: a 2018 agenda for finance leaders.

We all have our smartphones nearby all the time. And nearly everyone should be seeing your personal or professional texts and emails as soon as you send them. Given that, why does it seem like it’s harder and harder to hear back from people?

And add to it that when people don’t respond right away, it can provoke an uncomfortable, antsy feeling.

“It’s anxiety-inducing because written communication is now designed to mimic conversation—but only when it comes to timing,” Julie Beck writes in a thoughtful piece for The Atlantic. We often expect instantaneous responses, and when we don’t get them, it leaves us feeling stressed out.

But the truth is, as much as we often appreciate the on-demand nature of digital communications, texts and emails simply do not carry a sense of obligation the way phone calls or face-to-face interactions do.

“Written instant messages create a smokescreen of plausible deniability if someone doesn’t feel like responding, which can be relieving for the hider, and frustrating for the seeker,” says Beck.

So, why aren’t people responding to texts and emails right away? They don’t feel like they have to. “Just because people know how stressful it can be to wait for a reply to what they thought would be an instant message doesn’t mean they won’t ignore others’ messages in turn.”

Finance To-Do

With tax filings behind us, now is a good time for nonprofit finance leaders to take a deep breath and plan their agendas for the year ahead.

The Abila blog provides a handy to-do list for financial leadership. At the top of the list is preparing for new Financial Accounting Standards Board reporting standards. Better to get ready now, “as you may need to change some of your transaction recording methodology to comply, come year-end reporting time,” writes Michael Golub.

The blog post also makes recommendations for aligning with organizational objectives, preventing fraud, and performing process reviews. “Process review should be a formal project on your horizon,” says Golub. “Looking into what you do and how you do it is the starting point for improvement.”

Other Links of Note

Do you use shopping carts in your online donation process? Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t, according to Bloomerang.

Refresh your event budget creation skills. The Endless Events blog offers up a bunch of tips for cost estimation and more.

How should associations respond to a crisis of loneliness? A Velvet Chainsaw writer discusses the profound need for face-to-face connections.

(MissTuni/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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