Flagship blog of the Fortissimo Blog Group


Wong Renhao

Date of Birth:
28 August 1988

~Full time student
-St. Hilda's Primary
-Victoria School
-UB-SIM Ba. Comm.
~Part time software technician (Ba. ITech)
~Tenor-in-training, though it most probably won't work out
~CMI Grade 2 piano player
~Learning guitar

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Note: I will post using the name Renhao. Any other variation of my name or moi is not me.


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Communicating Online
Wednesday, April 05, 2006

If I remember correctly, one fact I learnt from Communication class is that 70% of communication is non-verbal. 20% verbal. 10% content.

Which means we are relying on 10% of communication in IM. Relying on 30% of communication on telephones. This theory only applies to conversational communication, by the way, hence excluding emails, blogs, letters, faxes, so on.

So we're relying on a tenth of communication during MSN chats (or Yahoo!. I wanted to type or Yahoo! for you bohemians but I kinda realised second place in the list doesn't quite count as bohemian...). We worked round that, or in a layman's perspective we improved communication, by smilies. And MSN took that one step further with the introduction of emoticons. Right. So we have little faces now to let people know how we feel. Then MSN ran out of ideas for cute yellow faces, so they opened the floor and let their users create and save custom emoticons. We had a whole new wave of cool emotes, and then we started having Kuchiki taicho doing chire, topless sluts flopping their jelly breasts and round yellow figures rolling on the floor laughing and kicking. That probably adds up to 20% more communication into the conversation.

Would that bring IM on par with telephone conversation? Nope. Because telephone conversation relies on the full 20% of verbal communication - our tone, our volume, our expressions. IM uses only 20% out of the 70% of non verbal communication, a meagre 28.57% of non verbal communication. As it is, because of the wide umbrella of non verbal communication, we are unlikely to get anywhere near using the full 70% of it. In fact I think it's already a one in a million chance you can sustain a full 30% usage of verbal communicative techniques all throughout a one minute phone call, much less using full power non verbal communication. How much can 29% do?

Yet capitals rarely appear anymore. The most common punctuative symbol is the ellipse (...). Conversants don't require question marks to know that a question is being asked. Why?

I notice that these do-aways are with people that I talk to often. Of course, there are certain things I stick to with every person I meet. Almost all the time I spell words out in full, with exception of longer common words like tomorrow (tml), remember (rmb), never mind (nvm), oh my God what the fuck barbeque (omgwtfbbq), and so on. I don't capitalise any names, including mine, except maybe God and Jesus. My chat-lines imitate how I would talk, entered each time I would pause if I were talking. I would, however, have more do-aways with Ben, for instance, than with my secondary school classmates, and more do-aways with them, than with my cousin. In the end, it looks like it boils down to familiarity. Certainly on all fields and levels there are misunderstandings, misinterpretations and miscommunications. And sometimes quite fatal too. But that can't be helped, given the thin platform we've unwittingly constructed ourselves to balance and converse on. Is there a possibility of increasing communication in IM?

Stay tuned to find out. I'll come up with the answer in like 80 years' time.

Other news, next semester's timetable is... well fucked up and relaxed at the same time. We would be taking 3 courses at a time, and 2 courses at a time for the Business people. But each class is from 1.30-5.15pm. 3h45min. Can fricking die la. I have no idea at all why they would want to have such long classes. I hope it doesn't last for the rest of our years here. We'll all become study zombies.

orchestrated by Renhao at 10:30:00 pm
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