5 tips to have clear online communications

Communicating online, brings in some challenges different from face to face conversations. Even on the mobile where you can't see the persons face you can make out voice modulations, pauses, spontaneous stuff that they might mutter and any other real time stuff.

Online communications are like type-written letters all formal looking. Using it for timepass and other non-formal communications can often lead to misunderstandings.

Some things to pay attention to while conversing online..

Emoticons: One of the most common ways that feelings are expressed in the digital medium is through these: :D :) :P :| >:|
A serious statement with ':p' can make it seem like a joke, a funny statement without a ':)' can seem as an insult.

Couple of problems with these emoticons:

- People are beginning to 'think their emotions' i.e. when you laugh over a chat conversation there is a thought that now I am laughing so I should put a ':D' or a 'ROFL'. Obviously these thoughts are not present in an offline scenario.

- Inappropriate usage: Lot of people that are too active on the web are beginning to use LOL, ROFL as a response generically. So now a days when someone types LOL, it really doesn't imply the person finds it funny. It could also mean that the person is being sarcastic about how 'not' funny this is. There is no way for the other person to know this over online communication!

Punctuations: These punctuations have been used in any sort of writing even before computers and internet came along. People all over the world fluent with the language can understand the meaning of those punctuations. Online the usage of these punctuations should be the same as far as I can understand. Sometimes if the matter is very, very shocking then it can be followed by '!!!!!!!!!'

Lot of people I find use '!!!!!' behind a 'hi' on chat so they should I guess put '!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' for something shocking.

My point being that just because punctuation rules don't apply on the net it will lead to clearer communications if they are used in a moderate and usual manner.

Colloquialisms: Using slangs, foreign language words can be confusing and/or misleading to people who don't get them. I often tweet in Hindi, but I presume they will be ignored by my non-hindi reading followers.

Serious Matters: Often something that I might not take too serious might mean a lot to someone else. So always good to keep that in mind before saying something which someone else could take offense to.
A flip side to this is that people also need to cultivate openness to hearing something that means a lot to them mentioned in a different light, cause after all, mingling (online or offline) leads to idea exchange!

Moody Statements: These are something to be really careful about, when a statement is written down to express a mood they tend to be curt. People who are not in that sort of mood may not get what you are trying to say.
Better to re read whatever you are writing and then publishing it.

Do you have any other tips to have clear communications online?

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