Things I Discovered On The Interweb

Thursday, 10 August 2006, 17:55 | Category : Geek Stuff
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As a means of communication, email is not such a great thing. Less than 6 in 10 email recipients correctly understand the meaning of the email they receive. Or the typical email user misunderstands over 40% of their received emails. Or something like that. Somewhere in there, anyway. That’s what these people say. The reason is that it’s difficult, through email, to build a “buffer of positive regard”, an “interpersonal resonance of emotional expression”. I think it’s that context thing again. Without ancillary communication methods like body language, facial expressions, and tone, , we have problems embracing the context of the message. maybe if we used more icons, or animated gifs, stuff like that, we could include some digital context accessories.

I also discovered that the 21st century is making us miserable. Really. It’s true because David Wong says so. Sadly, he makes some good points. Technology, the internet, iPods (or in my case, the Sandisk Sansa), let you build a wall to keep unwanted people at bay. Sort of. As I noted above, email lets us communicate without communicating. Blogs do the same thing, although Kudzu Files communicates with so few people that I think the damage has to be slight. We can build these elaborate characters around ourselves, depending on the relative anonymity of the internet to preserve only the most well-crafted parts of our persona. Which, of course, makes us utterly miserable. Also, we can use all this technology to indulge ourselves in the looniest of alternate realities and conspiracy theories. And we can listen to Coast To Coast AM and hear the looniest of our fellow loonies talk about their favorite delusions. (Did you know there is a hole in the Earth in Montana or Idaho somewhere, where the aliens fly in to and out of their secret underground base?) The only comfort I can find in all this is knowing that if you’re reading this, then you’re similarly entrapped by 21st century technology and are as miserable as me.