Why some people would rather e-mail than talk face to face

Have you noticed that some people at work would perfer to e-mail or blackberry you a message rather than get up, walk around the cubicle, and talk with you face to face?
There are many reasons that it would be a preferred way to communicate, one of the reason’s is that the e-mailer is more comfortable with writing and reading words than using nonverbal communication.

After my last post people asked me if lack facial expression is a sign of Asperger’s syndrome.
Asperger’s syndrome is a developmental disorder. People with the syndrome have normal or above average intelligence but have severe problems socializing. They have something called mind-blindness that makes it difficult or impossible to read nonverbal communication and therefore understand all the subtle nuances in communication. For example, there are 100’s of different things someone may mean when they say, “Hello.”, “I love you.”, or “I think that’s just great” depending on the voice, body language and context around it. If you have Asperger’s you wouldn’t know the difference between a sincere, statement and sarcasm, disgust or anger unless the speaker told you what they were feeling with their words. People with Asperger’s have trouble showing their emotions as well, so they seem stone faced. See my post from yesterday about facial feedback and for a more complete description of Asperger syndrome go to the following blog.

While I have seen an incredible increase in the number of clients under 25 with poor social skills I would not label poor socializes with a severe disorder. I think the majority of my younger clients did not get the modeling and socializing necessarily to feel comfortable with interpersonal interaction. I discuss what many cause this problem or poor socializing in my book, "Success Signals” in detail but let me state one of pervasive causes here. When I poll ask my audience to raise their hands if they have had dinner with their family at least three times a week when they were growing up, many of the participants under 25 do not raise their hands. They say they ate in front of the TV or computer by themselves. You need the adult modeling or social behavior and little prompts such as, “What did you do a school today?” and coaching such as, “It’s your turn.” And “Look at me sweetie while I am talking.” In fact, research says you need this modeling and coaching at dinner three times a week for 17 years or so to learn complexities of social interaction. If you don’t get it, it would seem like everyone else knows French but you: as if you were from a foreign country. It would be very scary to go to someone’s cubical and talk them. You would send an email instead. Hummm? Scary, and considering how I am communicating now, a rather ironic thought isn’t it?