In our industry, we talk a lot about art. Typically, this “art” takes the form of creative executions, musical talent, great copywriting (this is truly an art!) and beautiful illustrations. In our world, even typefaces are art and, when carefully selected for a client, magnificent in their form.
What we don’t talk a lot about is the art of human engagement. I like to think that your “human engagement IQ” equals the number of human interactions you have throughout your day. I also think that great client contact/customer service is still about picking up the phone and allowing your client to hear the inflection in your voice, which ultimately develops a more personal relationship than an email or text message ever could. I encourage eye contact with strangers and physical touch with friends – and, in my world, even a few client hugs along the way. Go for fewer emails, less time on your tablet, computer or smartphone. Text less, call more.
There are some things that technology simply cannot replace; personal interaction and touch, for example. So while we need to stay “socially connected,” the cold hard reality is that doing this only through digital devices is…well…too cold and hard. Sadly, some people don’t seem to have the bandwidth to understand this.
I think there is still an opportunity to make demands on each other to connect human to human, not through a virtual “un-reality.” We need to value the social media space as a tool, not a “community.” Any exclusively virtual world we create can too easily transform itself into a harmful hideaway where we don’t have to deal with realities of life all around us. I suggest we figure out a way to balance this interaction in our lives with the reality of voice, sight and touch. Let’s get the real conversation started.