One of the aspects discussed in our lesson this week on Organizational Life and Teams was effective communication through the channel of email. I am going to expand this conversation to include the channels of text messages and any type of social media that has consumed individuals and businesses all around the world today such as Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
How many times have you texted a friend, or put out a tweet where you didn’t get the response you were looking for? We’ve all been there. Confused you wonder how that message was misconstrued. These were your friends after all and they should have been able to “pick up what you were laying down”. Well according to the studies conducted in the article by Kruger, J., Epley, N., Parker, J., & Ng, Z. (2005) Egocentrism over e-mail: Can we communicate as well as we think?, this is not the case. The studies showed evidence that it did not matter whether you were friends or strangers there would still be a disconnect between the way the message was encoded, how it was constructed by the sender and transmitted, and decoded or perceived by the receiver.
Just imagine, if your own friends could mistake something you typed to them, how many strangers or coworkers have you possibly offended! I thought this was an interesting development. Most people would assume that the people that know you the best would be able to properly interpret the things you say via computer-moderated communication. Knowing this is not necessarily true, it gives you something to think about. Anytime you sit down to your computer or pick up your cell phone, whether it be to type up an email, send a text or post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you better think about what your about to say and how you want to come across without having paralinguistic ques to help carry your message.
Is the receiver going to be able to “hear” what you’re typing?
Kruger, J., Epley, N., Parker, J., & Ng, Z. (2005). Egocentrism over e-mail: Can we communicate as well as we think? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 925-936. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.115