Technology can never replace human touch
Monday Starters - By Soo Ewe Jin
COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information.
Whether the information is sent via a smoke signal, like in the days of old, or through the latest technology, it is totally useless unless it is received, processed and acknowledged.
We may rejoice that we have lots of e-mail storage space, and that we can stay in touch with anyone, anywhere, anytime. But the reality is that you probably only want to stay connected with a handful of people, and the bulk of those connected to you are conveniently ignored.
If we choose to ignore e-mail from people we know, what more unsolicited e-mail?
The Internet works in a rather mysterious way. People hunt for information and if that proves interesting, it will spread like wildfire. Even a local video clip on how snatch thieves attacked a lone motorist in Section 16 has been watched by more than 350,000 people.
Security consultant Benjamin Seow is amazed how people have flocked to view this clip after he posted it online. But I reckon that if he had offered the clip to, say the police, for it to be uploaded on the official police website as a form of public education, it would not have generated such traffic.
A friend who works for a major airline was sharing with me the amazing viral campaign they did recently which was so successful that the system crashed and they had to postpone the launch by another week. It turned out pretty well in the end, with sales hitting record highs. He is now spending long hours trying to figure out the power of new media.
The Internet is full of such stories, which is why the big guys, even with their fantastic resources, generally cannot fathom how a seemingly unknown person can create a bigger impact than them.
I think at the end of the day, it is about making people feel special.
In recent weeks, I have received many thoughtful e-mail and letters from many people, near and far. You cannot template such forms of communication because everyone has gone the extra mile to pen those words to me. And so, my response is to do likewise.
People click when there is genuine communication, not because it is being forced onto them.
Back in 1996, during the great national blackout, I observed how the Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) staff worked non-stop to restore power. When they came to my neighbourhood, one person angrily told them that the food in his fridge had gone bad, he could not watch TV, and that it was too hot to stay indoors.
One of the workers replied, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I have not even had the chance to go home and see my family for the past 48 hours.”
That effectively silenced the whiner and we all gave the TNB crew a round of applause after they finished their work.
I subsequently wrote an e-mail to the then TNB CEO Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Tajuddin Ali, thanking him for all the hard work his staff had put in. Those were the early days of the Internet and there were no Blackberries and IPhones that connected such senior people to the masses, so I wasn't expecting a reply.
But I did get a reply. A really personal reply where he expressed his thanks that he finally got one positive e-mail from the slew of thousands of angry e-mails and phone calls, especially from VIPs demanding their power be restored first. I was just an ordinary consumer saying thanks but the information was conveyed at the right time and at the right moment, and so it made a difference.
So, to those who want to communicate, be it to millions of people at any one time, or to just that one special person, remember that there is one thing that technology can never replace. It is called the human touch.
------this is another good article to share, I like the first sentense "COMMUNICATION is a two-way process. Someone wants to share information, and someone must be willing to receive that information."
------Those higher up, please remember communication is a two way traffic, never ever try to force anything on us, please!