Have you ever written a quick text message, Twitter comment, or email to someone – intended to be a joke – and have it be completely misinterpreted?
There’s a reason why emoticons have become so widespread :) .
It’s because on the Internet, nobody can really tell if what they’re reading is supposed to be taken at face value or if it should be treated like a joke.
Well, ACCORDING TO RESEARCHERS AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, people have no idea that what they’re writing isn’t being received correctly at the other end of the email line.
There’s something to be said for Face-to-Face communication, or even the lost art of the phone conversation… but as we move more and more into a world where people feel that the only way to reach to others is via typing of some sort, something was bound to be missed.
Or “somethings”, rather.
Such as gestures. Emphasis on specific words or sounds. Intonation. The conveyance of emotion, beyond using stupid smiley faces that everybody secretly mocks you for using in the first place.
What the study showed is that when given the chance to guess how the recipient would receive their message, people thought that 97% of their messages would be interpreted in the correct frame of voice that the messages were written in.
In actuality, 84% of the messages were interpreted correctly.
While that may seem like a high number of accuracy, that is still a far cry from the 97% that the sender was expecting. And you wonder why so many people get pissed off when they read what was intended to be a casual email or text message but was interpreted incorrectly.
So when was the last time you sent a message out that was totally taken out of context and caused an uproar? Tell us your story in the comments below.
And remember — next time, if you have something funny to share, pick up the phone and tell somebody directly. Or better yet – tell them the joke in person.