Texting can often lead to a communication gap when two people exchange messages between one another. Miscommunication develops through the lack of non-verbal cues such as body language, facial expressions, and tone. Even though these elements may not seem significant when participating in a face-to-face conversation, they make up a massive portion of “successful” communication.
Punctuation in messages is highly significant as it replaces tone in a real-time conversation. Exclamation marks represent anger or excitement for example, depending on the context of the message; however, even in cases where punctuation is used, it may still be misinterpreted by the receiver as a negative. Short sentences are misunderstood due to their abrupt nature. A simple “ok”, or “it’s fine” signals to the other person that the sender is possibly angry, even though in reality they may just be busy and not be able to talk much.
Emojis have entered our lives in an attempt to add some color through daily messages, trading the absence of facial expressions. The trap surrounding emojis is that sometimes they are used sarcastically, especially among teens. A popular example is the smiley face, which no longer symbolizes the actual meaning-being happy- but rather a sarcastic smile conveying attitude.
The real meaning of messages gets lost through the medium, therefore confusions occur amongst the sender and the receiver. Emotion, eye-contact, and gestures heighten communication between individuals as there is direct connection present. Since the lack of these is inevitable through texting, it is vital to be straight-forward and clear with the words chosen in a message.