We lose so much emotion in our text messages and emails—the tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions, body language, that quiver of excitement.
This poem called Indirect by BABYRUTHBEER caught my attention today:
To sigh after a long story,
or to gasp when you hear something silly;
Two of the wonders you can’t do
if online chat is what you’re into.
Looking at the person in the eye
is a cute act you can’t deny,
But that would lose its magic
even with Teams as your sidekick.
How about his expressions, real time?
And to hold his hands as a pastime?
Things that are stripped away from us;
That’s what online communication does.
Not to mention the words genuine and sincere.
Now, it will be hard to know if something’s real.
*Slightly adapted by me J
I think it’s fantastic that we can connect by WhatsApp, Facebook and Microsoft Teams. But the text is flat, dead, and emotionless (unless you’re a great writer). We spit out instant messages in seconds, forgetting our commas, forgetting about how the tone of our message will come across.
This got me thinking – there are 100’s of emojis in our chat tools, but which are the core universal emojis for everyday usage? I found Psychologist Paul Ekman on Wikipedia, one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. He states six basic emotions: anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise. These emotions are expressed by certain facial expressions that are universal in all cultures! That’s powerful. Six basic emotions are ubiquitous in all cultures.
The six basic emotions: anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness and surprise.Paul Ekman
Of the 100’s emojis, I was surprised to discover that some were easy to find, but others like “disgust” and “surprise” had me stumped for a while. Disgust was the hardest to find – the closest synonym match was “nauseate or sicken”.
So, according to Paul Ekman and Emojipedia, the following are our six basic emotions expressed in text:
Do you agree?
Whenever it’s possible, nothing beats picking up the phone and talking to somebody or getting up and walking across the passage to quickly assist a colleague with a question. Hug somebody!