Text personality

“Face to face is the only way to communicate.”

“You can’t pick up on tone of voice or body language if you aren’t in the same place.”

“Remote communications lack so much.”

I hear this a lot of the time from people who don’t work remotely all that much, or communicate a lot with people across different geographies or time zones.

People think you’ll miss out on so much by not speaking face to face or on the phone. There’s a certain amount that’s true about that, I’m not going to argue. But like any communication or detail, there’s a lot more richness you can get without realising.

This screengrab below shows a Skype text conversation with Debbie Carter, the Editor in Chief at Training Journal.

For me this was just a normal communication typing between us. It’s only when Debbie said that I don’t sound like my bubbly self it made me think – how is she picking up on that? What is different from normal?

There’s no tone to my voice, there’s no facial expression for Debbie to pick up on.

Let me share this one just as an example of a much earlier conversation from Skype:

This is a time where Debbie didn’t say I wasn’t bubbly. This was a “normal” interaction.

So what are the differences between these two? What are you picking up from text conversation? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments, below.

2 thoughts on “Text personality

  1. Interesting Jo 🙂 there is something in what you say. However I think you do need to ‘know’ the person well, as I do you, to be able to distinguish changes in mood through text. I’d be interested to find out more on what you see as this digital ‘body language’ as I’m not sure I could read signals from other people as well as I do from you – someone I’ve known for probably 10 years or so.

  2. I can see an opportunity for a book here Jo!
    Really interesting….i am a face to face person…but i do realise we need to adapt to the age we are in. As in everything we need to utilise resources effectively…whether they are face to face, text or chat – building rapport is so key!

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