The most valuable thing you can get from a person is their attention.
People don’t talk on the phone anymore; I call people and they sound surprised to have seen their cell phone ringing. People like texting for three reasons: 1) It’s much less direct 2) Texting lacks immediacy — when someone texts you, you can take your time in responding 3) You can end a text conversation at your convenience without saying anything, you just stop replying. When a person is on a call, all of their attention — or at least a lot more than when they’re texting — has to be directed to the person on the other end of the line.
When people read things, they are giving that literature their full attention. That’s your chance to say what you want to say — make it good.
When you’re face to face with a person, you have all of their attention (if your face isn’t buried in your phone). That is a very valuable asset; don’t waste it.
Attention is becoming harder and harder to obtain as we get more and more ways to be distracted. Our phones and computers and tablets and intent connections puts everything at our fingertips whenever we want it; that’s a strong-ass pull. Less time to relax. To be in a moment with absolutely nothing to do. To just be.
So when you do get someone’s attention, treat it like scarce resource, because there is fierce competition out there, and you may not get it again.