Well, not exactly. In a poll taken on LinkedIn—in which 1,177 people voted—35% chose video platforms like Zoom to communicate, whereas 34% chose social media sites like LinkedIn. Where did the other 31% go? The two other options were telephone, 16%, and email, 15%*.
The poll ultimately speaks to how people prefer to communicate, whether they’re searching for a job, helping people find jobs, or working in business of one sort or another.
The winner goes to Zoom
Video conferencing has seen enormous growth. According to SkillScout.com, “The video conferencing platform Zoom has seen 200 million daily meeting participants on average at the beginning of 2020 compared an average of 10 million participants in December 2019.”
This comes as no surprise considering it became a regularity to many people since mid-March. Zoom dominated many video conferencing platforms like Skype and Webex if not literally but in our daily vocabulary. I find myself saying to colleagues and friends, “Hey, let’s Zoom.” It’s bad when a product becomes a verb.
A safe assumption as to why people chose Zoom and the like is because they prefer not only speaking to people, they also like seeing with whom they’re speaking. This is good news for Zoom because, according to the same source mentioned above, it has 41% market share.
LinkedIn rules…on LinkedIn
The poll question was not LinkedIn specifically; it was social media in general. I figure that because I conducted this poll on LinkedIn, people naturally assumed I was referring to LI. I’m sure if I conducted the same poll on Facebook or Twitter, all would assume I was speaking of those platforms.
One of my connections, Ana Lokotkotova, chose LinkedIn for practical reasons. She’s a career coach and it’s her first point of contact. She wrote:
I chose LinkedIn because that’s where most of those professional conversations start for me. Then I take them to email or Zoom, but the initial interaction happens mostly on social media.
The definition of “communication” can have different meanings. When we think of communicating with others, we think of direct messaging. But what about writing posts and commenting on posts written about others? Isn’t this considered communicating? I think it is.
The problem with communicating on LinkedIn is that people don’t often check their LinkedIn messaging as much as someone like me and many others I know. We also have LinkedIn set to send any messages to our email, so we never miss a beat. Nonetheless, email is a safer bet if you want to get your correspondences.
Telephone is preferred by a few
If you’re wondering why someone would choose the telephone option, one of my dear LinkedIn connections, Erin Kennedy explains:
If I am talking to clients (initial consultation) it’s over the phone. It would take too long with email. However, I like email for basic/quick communications, “What time would you like to speak? How can I help” etc. I sit in front of this computer all day so it’s pretty easy for me to answer emails quickly.
This makes sense if you’re an executive career coach and resume writer like Erin. Another executive career coach, Sarah Johnston, finds the phone more practical in her line of work and she enjoys the intimacy of using the phone.
I love the phone. I put on my Bose sound proof headphones (a must when you are working from home with “coworkers”) and can have a hands-free conversation. I’m often taking notes (job search strategy or interview coaching sessions) on a pad or typing away if I am doing a resume intake call.
The other thing about a phone is that you can say, “so how are you doing?” And get a real response AND give a real response. People want to work with multi-dimensional people. When writing an email, it feels so insincere these days to say “I trust this email finds you well” because well is pretty relative during a pandemic.
I wonder if people considered texting as a way to communicate before they chose Zoom, LinkedIn, or the phone. If they had, I’m sure more votes would have gone to the phone.
Email is consistent
Email came in last as a means of communication, barely beat out by the telephone. These means of written communication (email) and oral communication (telephone) were the cellar dwellers. Whereas the other means of written and oral communications (Zoom and LinkedIn) were the clear winners.
The final conclusion is that oral communication wins over written communication by one percentage point in all four cases. What does this tell us about humanity? Is it true that the disparity between extraverts and introverts is closer than many believe? Does it have anything to do with these two dichotomies?
Another close LinkedIn connection, Edythe Richards, chose email as her favorite means of communication. She’s an ENFP. The theory that extraverts prefer oral communications is thrown out the window in Edythe’s case. She commented:
E-mail here- and I’m very fortunate that although my day job uses Zoom, we rarely use video. So my wardrobe these days can’t be beat!
*In full disclosure, I chose email for a very clear reason: I prefer to communicate via writing. I wrote about this in a post after I had experienced an excruciating telephone conversation from which I couldn’t escape. I also prefer to return phone messages with email. In this way I have control.
I wonder if the results would have been the same if we were not going through a pandemic. Would people still be using Zoom as often? Or has COVID-19 caused social awareness in a technical manner. Has it replaced human interaction for the time being or forever? That would truly be a shame.