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  • Writer's pictureJeff Eaker

I'm not a Teams Player

My life is noisy. I used to like noise and make quite a bit of it with guitars and stereos and things like that. But now I like things a bit quieter. It helps me focus better and around here focus pays the bills.

My kids are into Minecraft and Fortnite big time. So when they’re not screaming at their gaming systems, they’re watching their favorite YouTubers screaming at each other.

It’s lovely. Kids are awesome.

I try not to be a dick about it. When I was a kid MTV came out and man, did I love it. I watched that shit 24/7. Loud. It annoyed my parents to no end. My father just wanted a little peace and quiet so he could watch wrestling.

But I wanted my MTV!

So now that I'm the dad, I try to put up with it as long as I can. Mr. Beast actually isn’t that bad. Unspeakable, I kind of want to punch in the face. The dude never shuts up. That little fucker, Preston, though. He better watch his back. I’ve heard enough of his shit and he has an annoying haircut. I want him taken out.

But man are these guys rich.

Mr. Beast pulls in about $28 million a year. Most of his content is him playing video games with his friends and then going out and thinking up ways to give huge amounts of money away to random people. He actually comes off as philanthropic at times. It’s kind of nice.

When I was growing up all I wanted to be was a rock-star. All my kids want to be are YouTubers. If they can figure out a way to make $28 million a year, then I’m all for it. They can make as much noise as they want. But right now, they don’t make anything but a racket. And I try to put up with it, because I spent an entire year blasting Motley Crue out of my bedroom when Shout at the Devil came out. I deserve payback for that.

The other annoyance in my life is Teams. I fucking hate Teams. People say that email is dead. Which is funny because I get an email notification every time someone wants something from me on Teams. If it’s dead then let’s put it in the fucking ground because between Teams, e-mail and whatever latest version of project management software is being tried out that week, my phone is making more noise than a gassy art director on taco Tuesday.

It just never stops. I’m in a zillion different chats on there and whenever anyone says something I have to be alerted to it. The worst is when someone says something personal, like, I can’t make the meeting because I have a dentist appointment. Then you get 100 people chiming in with memes, emojis and gifs to show their sympathy. Each one another beep, bop or boop on my phone.

Here’s why people think email is dead. They can’t fucking write. They have no idea how to express themselves clearly and efficiently with normal fucking language. People can only write like a text now and that’s why they love Teams. You can just like something or respond with a thumbs up. There’s less pressure to use your words. You can express yourself with a meme instead of actually figuring out something clever, kind or empathetic to say on your own. I’m all for efficiency but what’s going to happen when these people have to speak? Like, in front of a client? Who’s an actual adult.

Language skills require practice. And writing isn’t going away. Teams offers some nifty ways to streamline communications, but in the long run we’re short-changing ourselves by skipping out on the opportunity to exercise our persuasiveness with messaging that is both compelling and thoughtfully structured.

As communications professionals, you’d think we’d know better. But maybe I’m just old school. Meanwhile, my phone keeps farting. Unspeakable keeps blabbering and Preston remains an annoying little asshole.

What’s that mean?

Bad news for me.

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