Did You Catch My Sarcasm?

Paige Hardy

Have you ever found yourself wondering the best way to deliver the information you wish to share? When you know what you want to say, but how on earth are you supposed to send it? We all know you’re not supposed to break-up with your significant other via text message, right, but what about other news? With help from an established communication theory called Media Richness, check out some tips and 3 strategies for delivering these messages using the perfect methods.

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1. It’s not you, it’s me.

Whether they’ve insulted your dog or forgot your birthday, it’s time to end the relationship. But how do you do it? You know the world will frown at you if you text them (the easiest option), but how will an in-person break-up go? Who drives to whose place? Do you break-up in public? Help! Communication authors, Dainton and Zelley, say that in today’s world of so many message options, breaking-up is more complex than ever. A break-up may be highly personal and you want to leave no room for ambiguity. The best way to make sure everything is clearly explained is by breaking-up over a spoken conversation, like a private telephone call. This way you are respecting the other person by giving them a sincere feedback option. Now you both may have a better chance at closure.

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2. I quit!

Media Richness theorists generally agree that the content of a message should match the channel carrying it. So whether it’s time to move on to bigger and better things or you’ve got to extricate yourself from a toxic work environment, you have to let the boss know somehow. Some people are fans of the no-call, no-show, they’ll-figure-out-I’ve-quit way of concluding a job post, but is that the best way? No matter what position you’re leaving, you want to remain professional. You may wish you had those references one day! The best way to professionally and matter-of-factly deliver this information is via a formatted letter or a well-crafted email. Because everyone knows these mediums can (and probably will) be saved, they know what you’ve written must be super profesh! They’ll wish you the best and be happy to provide that awesome reference down the road.

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3. Hey, I need help...

We can’t do this alone. Chances are, we will face many challenges throughout life and we can’t be afraid to reach out to others. This can be so scary though! What if my asking makes me feel embarrassed or my friend/family member/coworker dismisses my request? The way in which we ask for help may ease some of these fears. Communication authors Dainton and Zelley remind us that delivering straightforward info using a medium which is too complex is a form of overkill. When you ask for help, you should be as simple and straightforward as possible so that your recipient knows to take it seriously. Trying to be intricate and fancy in this task will just make asking harder so all you need to do is send a text. You can get the information off of your chest quickly and easily while the message’s recipient can take it from there.

For more on Media Richness and other popular communication theories, check out Dainton and Zelley’s book Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life.

And just for good measure... enjoy this gif of Zac Effron receiving some news... what do you think that text message says? 

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