Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Email tone - is toneless communication possible?

Rate this topic


StrictlyLogical
 Share

Recommended Posts

As you all have likely experienced at one point or another in your life, emails, even in a professional work environment, can be misinterpreted.  In many cases this is due to the so called "tone" which is "misread" in an email, and which causes an emotional response in the reader, primarily due to a misidentification of emotion attributed to the sender.  Ironically and paradoxically, some experts hold that it is the toneless nature of email, i.e. the absence of visual, bodily and facial cues itself which causes these misunderstandings.

Interestingly, if these experts are correct, the very lack of emotion somehow increases the possibility of a presupposition in the mind of the reader of the senders emotion, or at least increases a misidentification in the mind of the reader of the sender's emotion.  Thus it would seem to be an impossible task, in an objective context, to communicate with the intention of reducing tone issues, i.e. with a conscious effort to reduce an imputed emotion, by attempting to reduce "tone" or "emotion" in the email itself.  The holy grail of the toneless objective email becomes a myth because the less tone there is, the more potential there is for email tone imputation and misidentification.

What does this theory imply, if it is true, about the rationality of human beings, about their sense of self-esteem and independence, about their level of social-metephysicalitis (a form of disorder...)?  What does is say about person X if he/she implicitly presupposes that every message "must" have an emotion and a tone, particularly in cases where that presupposition is so strong that he/she will supply said tone where in fact none exists?

 

Given the statistical frequencies of the various types of mentalities that populate the world today, I doubt there is any hope of truly toneless communication, but I ask, is there any hope?

Edited by StrictlyLogical
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide if this is trying to project a malevolent or benevolent view of the universe premise here. The more likely you try to project a benevolent universe premise, the more like it is to be taken as a malevolent universe premise? Yet, if you try to intentionally present a malevolent universe premise, it is likely to be taken as such? 

Are you saying damned if you do, damned if you don't? I'd sooner bet my $5 here than my $5 elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actual humans are composing these messages, so I don't think it's completely unreasonable to look at them with that in mind. People often don't state outright everything they're trying to communicate and other things make it clearer what the whole message is. The lack of that additional context, like tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language make it easier to get the message misunderstood. And this is a large part of why I use emoticons so much. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide if this is trying to project a malevolent or benevolent view of the universe premise here. The more likely you try to project a benevolent universe premise, the more like it is to be taken as a malevolent universe premise? Yet, if you try to intentionally present a malevolent universe premise, it is likely to be taken as such? 

Are you saying damned if you do, damned if you don't? I'd sooner bet my $5 here than my $5 elsewhere.

I am saying damned if you do and damned if you don't... AND, please show me I am wrong ... somehow  :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am saying damned if you do and damned if you don't... AND, please show me I am wrong ... somehow  :(

If the recipient knows you well enough, they will probably supply their own grasp of a tone they might imagine you sending it with. After that, it is the recipient's own personal, examined or otherwise, sense of life that is going to provide them with the automatic emotional response.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...