Author Topic: electronic communication  (Read 3443 times)

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Amanda_931

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electronic communication
« on: June 24, 2006, 06:03:48 AM »
Or lack of it.  I've been on both sides of this--sending and receiving.

The graphic at the bottom is exceptionally interesting.  Even if we don't always believe we are communicating, people hearing us nearly always do.  But they can be wrong, pretty frequently in email--or forum--situations.  (We can be in either position.)  

For better or worse, it's why smileys are good, if not always sufficient.   :-?    :-/

From here:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0515/p13s01-stct.html

Michael Morris and Jeff Lowenstein wouldn't have recognized each other if they'd met on the street, but that didn't stop them from getting into a shouting match. The professors had been working together on a research study when a technical glitch inconvenienced Mr. Lowenstein. He complained in an e-mail, raising Mr. Morris's ire. Tempers flared.
"It became very embarrassing later," says Morris, when it turned out there had been a miscommunication, "but we realized that we couldn't blame each other for yelling about it because that's what we were studying."

Morris and Lowenstein are among the scholars studying the benefits and dangers of e-mail and other computer-based interactions. In a world where businesses and friends often depend upon e-mail to communicate, scholars want to know if electronic communications convey ideas clearly.

The answer, the professors conclude, is sometimes "no." Though e-mail is a powerful and convenient medium, researchers have identified three major problems. First and foremost, e-mail lacks cues like facial expression and tone of voice. That makes it difficult for recipients to decode meaning well. Second, the prospect of instantaneous communication creates an urgency that pressures e-mailers to think and write quickly, which can lead to carelessness. Finally, the inability to develop personal rapport over e-mail makes relationships fragile in the face of conflict.

In effect, e-mail cannot adequately convey emotion. A recent study by Profs. Justin Kruger of New York University and Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago focused on how well sarcasm is detected in electronic messages. Their conclusion: Not only do e-mail senders overestimate their ability to communicate feelings, but e-mail recipients also overestimate their ability to correctly decode those feelings.

One reason for this, the business-school professors say, is that people are egocentric. They assume others experience stimuli the same way they do. Also, e-mail lacks body language, tone of voice, and other cues - making it difficult to interpret emotion.

"A typical e-mail has this feature of seeming like face-to-face communication," Professor Epley says. "It's informal and it's rapid, so you assume you're getting the same paralinguistic cues you get from spoken communication."



« Last Edit: June 24, 2006, 06:04:16 AM by Amanda_931 »

peg_688

  • Guest
Re: electronic communication
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2006, 06:43:56 AM »
Ya so what are you trying to say Amanda  ;D

  That sentence could go either way depending on the smiley ;)  ?  >:(  ?

  If feel your pain  ;)


Amanda_931

  • Guest
Re: electronic communication
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2006, 07:08:13 AM »
Just that we--all of us, including me--need to know that this is pretty common.

Getting to know other people's style of communication helps.

As I said, I've misunderstood an email communication (maybe not since last night!) and replied, if not inappropriately, at least not directly.  And I've had people really angry with me with what they thought I'd said--which I didn't mean that way, even if it was easy to read as a slam.

And I've gotten right upset at something typed that wasn't meant that way at all.

There are other possiblities.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2006, 07:17:16 AM by Amanda_931 »

Sassy

  • Guest
Re: electronic communication
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2006, 12:12:25 PM »
I don't know how many times I've been tempted to reply to an email at work with a sarcastic remark...  ::) when administration made some non-sensical decision... but having also worked in administration, have had to learn to keep my comments rather innocuous.  Probably doesn't always sound like that here on CountryPlans when I get onto a rant about some, yet-again, stupid, criminal, the list is endless, thing our political leaders do.   :-/
« Last Edit: June 24, 2006, 12:13:11 PM by Sassy »

jraabe

  • Guest
Re: electronic communication
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2006, 06:47:09 AM »
I think a major part of the problem is the limited "information density" of email. A phone call carries subtle information such as tone, pacing and other emotional cues that are picked up by the non-rational mind but greatly increase the likelihood of understanding.

In typing we just have words on paper or the screen. And not all of us are skilled at expressing our emotional states (thus the popularity of emoticons which are shorthand emotional clues   :D ;) ;D >:( :o)

As with most thinks emotional, men are generally more handicapped than women here  >:(.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 06:50:46 AM by jraabe »


bil2054

  • Guest
Re: electronic communication
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 07:15:00 AM »
One way to defuse some potential problems in email is to use conditional phrases, such as "I believe", "some folks say", "I have heard", etc.  That can put a potential emotional confrontation at one remove, and so lessen the impact.  If I am merely annoyed, rather than completely outraged, then I am more likely to investigate through further communication whether you really meant what I thought you said. [smiley=wink.gif]

 

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