Laugh Out Loud
Written by: Sabine Roggermeier; Gluecklich Im Sein
I love communication. Anybody who knows me well also knows that I love to converse, whether it be a quick chitchat or a long and deep thoughtful conversation. All my life I have been fascinated with the ways we humans communicate. One of my main focuses has always been discovering how to communicate in a way that both parties truly understand each other.
When you have a conversation eye-to-eye you might not be aware of it but a major part of the communication happens nonverbally, meaning you don’t use words to send out your message. This is not just about you using your hands while talking or your smile in between your words. It is also about how the recipient of your communication reacts. You can often know whether there is a miscommunication by maybe a twitch in the eyebrow, a frowning look on the other person’s face or a certain move of the body. Picking up on these signals you can rephrase what you just said or you can ask some questions to see where there was a wrong turn taken.
These days we communicate so much in digital ways where we cannot fathom the other person’s reaction to our words. Digital communication is great in many ways. For example, it is fast and the other person doesn’t even have to be available right at the moment I send out my message. On the other hand there is lots of room for misinterpretation (and the fact that you can read the messages, again and again, fretting on the meaning doesn’t make it any better!) and I feel we are losing out on our connection and the quality of our relationships when we start to communicate mainly through digital means.
One way to attempt to bypass the misunderstandings is using emojis, which basically are a substitute for the lack of our facial expressions. Some don’t use them a lot, I do! I love emojis. Here are my current favourites:
1) The winking one that’s blowing out a kiss: I use it to make sure the other one knows I am not serious, I am just teasing and that I do so lovingly.
2) The laughing ones: I use both the regular and the tilted one. For me though, the tilted one is a sign of laughter on steroids — the moments when you have a fit of laughter and you just can’t stop it!
3) Thumbs up: It’s basically a way to let the other one know I agree with their decision or thinking. I like to let the other one know. I often consider it weird when you send out something and there is no response whatsoever, but that’s just me.
4) The one with the rolling eyes and the tongue sticking out: it’s perfect to convey the craziness of life!
When writing about the use of emojis I can’t help but think of a good friend of mine who is as emoji-crazy as I am, I would even say she’s crazier… I love it when we throw around emojis just for the sake of it. It makes the conversation light and fun and very entertaining! Actually, come to think of it, that is very much the way we communicate in person. No, we don’t imitate emoji faces obviously, but the quality of our communication always has some lightness to it, which is pretty expressive of our relationship in general! So maybe there is a correlation between my use of emojis and my relationships after all?
As much as I love to use emojis to express myself I wouldn’t want to miss “real” conversations. So my suggestion is: in between your digital conversations pick up the phone once a while and give somebody a call or better yet meet them in person. It’s so worth the time spent!