How to make email communication mimic face-to-face interactions

November 26th, 2008 - 6:53 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, November 26 (ANI): A new set of communication skills is required to improve email interaction, reveals new study.

According to the study authors Daniel A. Menchik and Xiaoli Tian, of the University of Chicago, unlike face-to-face conversations, email interactions tend to ignore tone of voice, body-language and context and can results in creating misunderstandings.

It is to avoid such miscommunication that face-to-face and internet-based contexts each require a set of distinct interaction strategies.

The authors argued: “People can cultivate ways of communicating in online contexts that are equally as effective as those used offline. The degree to which individuals develop unique conventions in the medium will determine their ability to communicate effectively.

The researchers observed “the case of a well-known scientific organization that decided to replace occasional meetings of a research panel with ongoing email interaction.

The boffins found several hindrances while conversing via email along with identifying various ways in which communicators were able to overcome these problems.

The study further revealed that the use of capital letters, quotations, emoticons, exclamation points, punctuation, bullet points, style and even color aided the sender in putting across the meaning of a word or message.

For example, “I feel betrayed”meant differently from “I FEEL SO BETRAYED!! ;)” with the latter in capital letters and with winking smiley face depicted sarcasm.

The new article was published in the American Journal of Sociology. (ANI)

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