by Dennis Yang
Mon, Oct 8th 2007 10:24pm
As we have noted here before, emails are very easily misinterpreted, which explains why online flame wars are infamously common. With the emergence of social neuroscience new findings have been published to further explain why emails often result in misunderstandings. Email is at a distinct disadvantage since it lacks the sensory richness of a face-to-face conversation. In a face-to-face conversation, we can judge the tone of the conversation by body language, gestures and tone of voice. So, left with only the words in an email, we are left to interpret the tone of the emails in a vacuum. But, never fear, there are ways to improve email communication. Since studies have shown that misunderstandings occur less between people who are familiar with each other, Professor Clay Shirky recommends to start communication face-to-face and then move on to email. Even saying "Hi" every morning goes a long way to facilitating the social glue. Long touted as the true "killer app" of the Internet, email has definitely improved communications -- that said, it's critical to recognize the differences of this medium and be sensitive to the challenges that it brings.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- Border Patrol Agent Forwarded All Emails To Someone Else's Gmail; Only Discovered When 'Civilian' Responded
- White House Vaguely Agrees Outdated ECPA Should Be Reformed But Only With An Eye On The Government's 'Interests'
- UK Government Instituted Automatic Email Deletion Program Right Before Its Freedom Of Information Law Came Into Effect
- Techdirt Podcast Episode 30: Does Distance Matter In The Digital Age?
- Clinton Email Case Gets Nutty: Clinton Offers Faux Support For Faster Release... That She Could Have Done Herself