USAToday wrote an article back in February about 15 unwritten rules of calling, texting, and social media that apply to this new wave of communication. The article is interesting, I’ve highlighted some of it below, but I’d encourage you to give it a full read.
It’s obviously Op-Ed at best and definitely rules you must live by. But for church techies, this is a great conversation to discuss.
Here are a couple of the ideas from the article:
- Don’t call until you’ve texted to confirm it’s OK to call.
- Don’t respond with ‘K’.
- You have to send at least 3 texts pretending to be friendly before you can ask for a favor.
- Don’t send too many texts in a row all at once.
- Don’t ask for likes, comments or shares.
Of course, this brings about an interesting conundrum with church tech and church communications. If we are to be available to people as well as want to reach out to people, do we end up breaking these unwritten rules and therefore put up barriers of connecting with people?
We Must Have Good Intent and Optics
I think you can certainly overthink this, but I do feel that it is when we have an intent to do this well. We miss too many times where we just communicate out of reaction instead of specific intent and our communication comes off as rushed, artificial, and self-centered. We even know the Facebook has been giving less visibility to posts that are specifically asking for these things, so your reach will even get hurt.
How many churches do you know have asked online to share a Facebook event or to subscribe to your YouTube channel? Immediately I’m turned off by it and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Most of the time, this is the first time I’ve interacted with them, and therefore the last, too.
At the same time, we need to have good optics, also known as how we are being seen by others. Our intent might be to communicate with people on text messages for volunteering. If we look at this sending too many texts in a row or immediately go for asking for help for something without establishing a relationship, how does this look?
So I’m curious, does the church need a more formal, written list of rules for communication? If so, what would you want to be added to this list?