Tuesday, April 28, 2009
In this so-called modern era technologies have created possibilities as well as chances for people to communicate with anybody all over the world, without going to places where our counterparts live. There are many machines we can use for communication such as phones (or mobile phones with their feature to send text messages), facsimile, until the internet with its various ways of communication, from email, chatting (YM, MSN, Googletalk, you name it.) and some others.
However, face-to-face communication is the best way to communicate in order to avoid miscommunication. Experts say that human face consists of 44 muscles and two bones: the skull and the jaw. These muscles are not attached to the bones so that they float freely giving us huge mobility to create approximately 7000 different facial expressions. When people communicate face to face, they can see their counterparts’ facial expression so that they can understand the feeling of the counterparts while saying something. They can pick up cues from the expression shown in the counterparts’ faces as well as body language.
This is the thing that we cannot find or use in long distance communication, especially via text messages, either via email, chatting or sms via cell phones. Direct call is better since we hear the voice of the caller and hopefully can recognize the mood of the caller whether he/she is happy or angry or disappointed or sad. The availability of ‘emoticon’ absolutely helps reduce the miscommunication. However, the number of emoticons is not as many as 7000 facial expressions human face can produce. Besides, the feeling of the reader of the text messages also play a very big role in producing a certain mood when reading the messages.
For example: several months ago a workmate of mine sent a message to another workmate, jokingly said, “Hey you, don’t be irresponsible like that, will ya? When you are absent, tell the substitute teacher what lesson he or she is to cover in your class.”
Unfortunately the workmate whose mother happened to be the boss at that time was in a bad mood. The moody mother was also in a bad mood when reading the message. Instead of reading it in a joking tone, these mother and daughter read it with upset mood and imagined the sender said that in an angry tone with her arms akimbo. The result was very fatal. The boss was losing her control and my workmate (the sender of the message) got yelled violently.
Technologies indeed have given us a lot of benefits such as getting more friends from all over the world without needing to go to faraway places because we can easily communicate with them from where we live, using the internet and (cell) phones. However, we are not to forget that technologies also can kill the friendship when we read messages wrongly due to our bad mood when reading them.
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