Thursday, 9 February 2012

Social Networking - why text is not the way to talk...

"Too be or knot 2b - that is the question?"

I'll admit that I am a social networking Luddite. I blog (your reading one now) and I use forums, but I seldom tweet, and I never Facebook. Why you ask? Because text is impersonal.

Take the following statement:

I think that cheese is really cheesy.

This statement can be taken several ways. It could mean that the speaker thinks that cheese has a very cheesy taste, or that cheese is a very old fashioned subject. We can't tell, because we're missing the human element of conversation, namely inflection. We can't tell what the original speaker means, because the text can't reflect how the speaker has said it.

When you have a conversation with someone, face to face, the importance of "Body Language" cannot be underestimated. A person's body language can tell you if they are being coy, sardonic, humorous, and a thousand other possible emotional subtleties that go along with the words you hear to create the verbal impression you receive.

Text does not do this well.

I have lost count of the number of sms, email, twitter, forum & facebook arguments I have witnessed caused by simple misunderstandings. For your own sake, keep your text conversations simple, and if possible, read them through before posting. If you think what you have written may be taken the wrong way, then rephrase it - because you can guarantee that someone will...

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