Misunderstanding and turning into Drama Queens within two seconds- Is this the future of communication?
Hands up — how many of you already had a “WhatsApp fight” which was totally useless because you just simply misunderstood each other. Let me visualise this with my favourite misunderstanding tool:
There are three types of emoji users:
1). People who are using too many emojis seem to be over the top. (best practice example: parents who own the talent just to communicate through emojis, why bother using words?)
2). People who are using emojis but not extensively. (Those who some people would call “normal”)
3). People who are not using emojis in general seem to be cold, simply not interested or even aggressive. (If they are going to send you emojis- Well! then you can feel honoured and special!)
Number three is a perfect start for an argument between two individuals who are trying to communicate through new technology.
You can relate to the word Drama Queen right now?
Of course, you feel shocked because no one likes to be one — but I can assure you when it comes to communicating via WhatsApp & Co we all kind of are.
Over the last years, we gained a lot of new technology tools. With new technology comes new routines, new knowledge and new lifestyles. It is easier to connect with people from all over the world and get in touch easily. We can call and text our loved ones, send pictures and even locations with WhatsApp.
You can´t come physically to a job interview? No problem we have Skype! You want to share your life with people? No problem we have Facebook, Twitter& Co! You want to watch videos and entertain yourself? No worries we have YouTube!
And yes of course they give us so many advantages and are making our life a bit easier but how can this be worth it when we often misunderstand each other? Let me get this right: Communication face to face already isn´t that easy as everyone is thinking, so how can it be easier with new communication tools? Communication is so much more than just words. It is about facial expression, body language, surrounding environment, time, personal space, tone, voice… as you can see the list goes on.
The Shannon- Weaver Model of Communication already shows that channels we are using (such as face to face, phone, email) can be disturbed with what they call “Noise.”
This Noise could be almost everything. An easy example for that in relation with new communication tools is an internet connection. People get frustrated if the internet connection is bad or breaking down during doing something in which it is needed. This frustration can be projected onto the person we are talking to on the phone or we are texting with. Therefore, it is very important to have a good internet connection when it comes to a job interview via Skype. Even we don´t do it consciously, we still project a part of our frustration onto our Receiver.
Let me come back to the “Emoji Dilemma”. One week ago, I went for a coffee with a good friend and we were talking about a guy that she just met. She assumed that he didn’t like her because he is not using emojis whilst texting with her: “He is like a robot, I have the feeling he is not interested at all. That is so weird.” She had this assumption just because he was not using emojis. Of course, he liked her, sometimes it is just simply not needed to make that clear with emojis or are you staring at your crush with “heart- eyes” (😍) all the time?
SO, IS THIS THE FUTURE OF COMMUNICATION???
Basically, it doesn’t matter if we are talking in real life with each other or if we are using new technology.
There is and will always be noise potential.
But there is also a way to prevent that or be more aware. Before letting frustrations take over your actions, go deep inside and think about it- even if it is just for two seconds. Two seconds in which you are trying to:
-Understand the receiver/ Take his perspective.
-If you are frustrated: Understand why you are frustrated.
-Think about the consequences of your actions / words.
Two seconds of thinking before saying something could save you from turning into a Drama Queen within two seconds.