A recent online conversation (wink wink) has made me remember one of my pet peeves; how frustrating it can be to have a conversation online.
You ever had that? Someone leaves a message on a forum, on MSN, a blog comment, and you have no idea whether the person is kidding or serious, joking or insulting, playful or destructive.
It comes back to the basics. Words only form 7% or so of our communication, the rest is 38% tonality and 55% body language!
And this measly 7% still has to go through our personal filters of the world, and you wonder how anybody gets anything said and done.
We must be smarter than we think ;P
We all know this intuitively. That’s why most of us know that to talk about important things, it has to be face-to-face, or at least on the phone. There’s so much information you can read from just being with a person, seeing their gestures, their posture, the pitch of their voice, and so much you can miss without all that (93% of the communication!).
Imagine a hot date screaming at you at the top of their lungs; ‘You idiot!’ vs. your hot date whispering in a soft sultry voice ‘You idiot’. Same words, but different tonality (probably different body language too hmm) and thus; different communication.
By the way, that’s why I think we invented smileys, you know, the :/ ;P things. Why? Because they’re visual! And they add the missing visual elements from our words. Even a smiley like this >:( is different from this >;) Saying ‘You idiot’ is different from ‘You idiot ;)’.
And you know what? Personally I think women have a one-up on us on this. I mean, with all the girls I’ve known who could make the word ‘it’s ok’ mean so many different things at different times…eek! Guys, back me up on this willya? ;P