Rant number 366: Have you ever had an email from a robot?Had an email from a robot? Well I have. Chances are we all have at some point or another. A stroppy letter perhaps that was overly officious? For me it was very recently. In fact I get quite a few. Some of them come in lovely little brown envelopes too.
What ever happened to the human touch? Isn't it about time that we humans stood in our own power and said "enough is enough". We want written communication to be kind. We want emails that remember that a real person will read them! How often have you had an email from another person who had clearly forgotten that? That person was, maybe, having a particularly challenging day and the "straw had finally broken the camel's back" ... so to speak. Or it could just have been a standard print run of a poorly worded chaser letter that was something that someone, somewhere, in history, had entered into the computer system as a template and that nobody had thought to change or indeed to wonder what it was like to receive it? Yet we all get them!
Wouldn't a new world of letters with lovingly crafted, simple words like "Hello Julie" with a real person's name as a contact and in a style that really engages us to pay attention and encourage us to read on/not switch off be a much more beautiful place to be? This might seem like a little change to ask for. Yet it is something much more symbolic than about using plain english... or whatever your language is. It is about the human spirit. About embraces what it means to be human. Have we forgotten? If we receive a form that has so much fear based terminology that we can't complete it without a User Manual how do you feel? Oh and whilst I am on the subject of User Manuals/Instructions... what about those too? Robots can't assemble furniture in the home... well, not yet anyway. Hell yes what about the ""User? The "User" does tend to be human. Do we really want to receive a thoughtlessly, mechanically produced, impersonal, "Dear Sirs" letter with no heart or soul? I know that I personally read emails and engage with advertising when it feels like it is really to me from another human being. When did we let DOing take over the BEing bit? Surely it can't be such a difficult thing?
We need INSPIRED ACTION. Do you, like me, feel that it is about time that "humans say yes" and move on from "computer says no". Humans say "we can change this shell document to be much more approachable and friendly" and "we can tweak this invoice style to authentically represent how we are as a business.... about people.... about caring about our customers and partners as people ... about kindness?" As someone recently said to me... "just because we can doesn't mean we should".....I wholeheartedly agree. Woops! there I go again... changing the language.
So today, I am asking you to look out for anything that arrives in your in-box or on your desk or, if you are like me, and work a lot of the time from home, through your letter box that might, just might, feel like it has been written by a robot. If you do, please feel free to send it on to me (unless it is highly confidential of course!) as my intention is to lovingly and perhaps poetically suggest a better way for these organisations to express themselves in a more people centred way.
Please join me.
Posted specially for you - yes you... with loving energy and a tiny, weeny bit of genuine frustration... which I am working on!
Oh and now I have "Human" by Human League buzzing around my head. Does that ever happen to you too?