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Communication tech differs by generation
Published Friday, July 27, 2018 12:09 am
by Jaraya Johnson | The Charlotte Post

With so many methods of communicating, Americans prefer to interact in many ways.

Though there are many differences between generations, one of the biggest is how they reach each other. Some prefer texting and emailing while others prefer calling. Not only is communicating different when talking to friends and family, but it is also different in the workplace.

According to Forbes, Baby Boomers prefer phone calls when delivering information among coworkers. However, millennials prefer texting and social media while also being open to sending emails.

“At my job, we communicate with our mouths, really,” Charlotte resident Shellie Williams, 50, said. “However, the ‘higher ups’ prefer email so they can be sure important information gets to all employees. I, personally, prefer email. However, at home, I can talk on the phone all day. My phone goes on the charger and I totally forget about it.”

Communicating at work can be very different from chatting with friends. Millennials and teenagers find texting and phone calls easier, but it also depends on who is on the receiving end. According to Pew Research, teens prefer texting; however, they choose to call their closest friends. Though texting was proven to be the preferred way to communicate among teenagers (80 percent), 69 percent of teens said phone calls are one of their top choices for communication.

“I like texting and FaceTime,” Rock Hill resident Armarya Ladson, 13, said. “I text, FaceTime, and even Snapchat my friends, but I call my parents and other family members.”
Among Millennials, however, the preferred methods of communication is texting or phone calls, while emailing is popular in the workplace. Stephanie Moser, 20, believes that talking with friends requires a different communication outlet than professional or educational setting.

“[I prefer talking] in person or making a phone call, that way I can hear their tone of voice and nothing gets mistaken as being rude or inconsiderate,” she said. “[I use] email in my school/professional life just because it seems more appropriate.”

Among Generation X, in-person conversations seem to suffice for some, but texting gets the job done as well.

“I prefer in-person for the workplace and also socially,” said Yulanda Johnson-Brown, a 42-year-old Charlotte resident. “Secondly, I like texting over talking on the phone.”
Older generations, like Baby Boomers and Boomers ll interact in ways they know will get the job done. Wessie Barnes, 60, from Charlotte, is active on Facebook, where she communicates most with family and friends. However, she also prefers other routes.

“[I prefer] in-person conversations, but text will do as well.”

When working specific jobs, there is a need to be versatile when communicating. For Millennials, making phone calls proves to be a difficult task for some to grasp in the workplace. Charlotte resident Cheyenne Walsh, 20, has reservations for making phone calls as a young journalist.

“I prefer in-person above all, but texting would be next,” she said. “As for in the workplace, I have a completely different outlook. I still prefer in-person, but I can’t stand to make phone calls, especially interviews. I’m always worried I won’t hear the person or won’t get the ‘perfect’ quote.”

Younger folks in Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are comfortable using technology to communicate, but, interacting in-person is simple and more intimate. Facial expressions cannot always be captured through technology; however, on a phone call, the sound of a voice can help communicate emotion.

“I understand why people prefer face-to-face conversations,” Williams said. “And a lot of people around my age do, but I think it has to do with time. If I have time to meet you somewhere to talk then I will, otherwise, call me. I feel like I can tell by someone’s voice on the phone if they are happy, sad, or angry, just as someone could do in person. It just isn’t my preference.”

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