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...
- Mayor Who Sued His Own City Over A Public Records Request Ordered To Turn Over Official Emails Stashed In A Private Account
- Huge Win: Court Says Microsoft Does Not Need To Respond To US Warrant For Overseas Data
- Emails Show Hillary Clinton's Email Server Was A Massive Security Headache, Set Up To Route Around FOIA Requests
- FBI Questions Veracity Of Emails It Released To FOIA Requester While Defending Refusal To Discuss Hacking Efforts
- Guy Who Didn't Invent Email Sues Gawker For Pointing Out He Didn't Invent Email