Bob Brody
Bob Brody

I know how much you want to get in touch with me. Usually you reach out through email. And usually email is fine for business purposes. Except I no longer check my email. That’s because email is so yesterday.

You’ve texted me, too. Only nobody texts anymore. You’re probably the only one now. I stopped texting in 2018. It’s so retro.

You’ve phoned me, too. Now admittedly, my phone system is tricky. The six-step automated response gives you 12 options. Then you’re put on hold for four hours. Except I never check my voicemail. The phone is history.

Thank you, by the way, for inviting me to join you for calls on Zoom. I liked the idea of Zoom until I saw what I look like on camera. Then, even worse, I saw what you look like on camera. So I’ve moved past Zoom. Zoom is dead to me.

But listen, I want to maintain contact with you for potential future collaborations. The key is to find communications tools that keep us ahead of the curve.

Oh, hey, do you have that new app? What’s it called again? Oh, right, WhatsApp! Everyone’s doing WhatsApp! All my lobbying clients and colleagues do business on WhatsApp now. Even our labradoodle does WhatsApp.

At least that was the case last week. Nobody bothers with WhatsApp anymore. WhatsApp is prehistoric. I mean, come on! Unicorn startups have introduced new, better apps in just the last 30 seconds. Anyone with half a brain knows most apps are outdated before they’re even downloaded.

No wonder nobody in our community of executives and entrepreneurs can ever get in touch with anyone anymore.

If you’re looking to stay current, get Signal or Slack. Or Snapchat or WeChat. Or Yammer or Telegram or Thema. Or you could opt for Webex or Facebook Messenger or Microsoft Teams. Or Google Hangouts or Adobe Connect or GoToMeeting. But you better hurry. By next week they’ll already be antediluvian.

Okay, so your office building is just down the block from my office building. Technically we could catch up at the coffee shop right around the corner. But that would bring us face to face. And face to face is three-dimensional. In 2021, everyone with a high school diploma realizes three dimensions are at least one dimension too many.

Besides, going face to face would entail a conversation in real time. Nobody in the business community risks communicating in real time anymore. Real time is so 1965.

Conceivably your best bet might be to move into the metaverse. You just have to find the right real estate agent. I hear you can still score a three-bedroom ranch house in the metaverse for a song.

How about if we just go back to basics? Smoke signals? Tin cans connected by string? Are you receptive to megaphones or semaphore? What about tribal drums or carrier pigeons or walkie talkies or American Sign Language?

In the new year, I want us to stay in touch. We’ll figure it out. Meantime, please keep me posted. Take my word for it: I’m all ears. Just never mind the headphones I'm always wearing.


Bob Brody, a media consultant and essayist in Italy, is author of the memoir “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.” His humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Guardian, among other publications.