We are carrying on a long distance
conversation. We are doing some
of it by email. Did you notice how
much email you get these days,
how much each of us depend on it
and how we get home or have a minute
and want to “check our email”?
Daniel Goleman wrote a nice piece
opening up several ideas that can be
shared with you. In the article, he states
“E-mail [and other CMC]… has a
multitude of virtues … quick and
convenient, democratizes access
and lets us … accomplish huge
amounts of work together… clearly
greatest when there is trouble at hand.”
[CMC– “computer mediated communication,”
see K. Byron, Whatman School of
Management, Syracuse University]
“But … e-mail may subtly encourage … trouble …
[It encounters] a ’design flaw’ [when
humans use it to interact]. There are
no online channels for the multiple
signals the brain uses to calibrate emotions.”
“Face-to-face interaction, by contrast,
is information-rich. We interpret what
people say to us not only from their
tone and facial expressions, but also
from their body language and pacing,
as well as their synchronization with
what we do and say.”
“… e-mail can be emotionally impoverished
when it comes to nonverbal messages that
add … rich emotional context ..”
Sue Shellenberger has authored a
piece about companies promoting ‘no
email’ days to encourage more face to face
interactions. The point of all this is that
email has unrecognized limitations.
So, what should you consider to
communicate clearly on the internet?
- Make sure the subject line (email)
or title (blog) reflects your content
- Use appropriate words and phrases.
If your mood is not right, it may be
reflected in the words you choose.
Review it and send it later.
- Don’t USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
- Brevity and smart organization encourages
people to read the whole message
- Selectively use information on the Internet.
You don’t know where it will go or how it will be used.
- Understand copyright laws and citation rules of thumb
- Delete and do not forward spam and chain letters