Philosophy of engagement

After the thoughts around instant messaging, I’ve been thinking of a philosophy of engagement to define the types of correspondents I want to get involved in – at work or in personal life. We should leave some room for serendipity and surprising conversations.

  • We should stop replying to “lazy messages” where people initiate some kind of meeting without mentioning available timeslots or options.
  • We should probably not respond to emoji-based feedback/comments/likes.
  • Where messages sent are without context or clear communications, the onus should be on the sender to clarify. The receiver could ignore messages until clarification is made.

Now the biggest burden of the instant messages is that once you received the messages it feels as though the ball is in your court and replying relieves you of the tension so that it is out of your court. Developing these protocols for engagement effectively takes that tension away under certain conditions. If we just focus on the communications required at hand, we can develop and internalise these protocols to help us deal with further anxieties induced by instant messaging.