What do the foxes say?

or: How I challenge myself to send clearer emails and messages

Do you know these foxes on Facebook? I like them. I find them cute and funny, so I use them sometimes.

If I see a post on Facebook and I want to say: Okay pal, I have seen and read your post and I think it’s fine, so whatever you stated in it, you have my acknowledgement for that, I simply “like” the post.

What does the thumb mean?

My sister (who is not on Facebook, but on What’sApp) says, she hates the thumb. She once sent our dad a photo of a broken laptop cable in order for him to see whether he could replace it. He sent back a thumb. But what does that mean? That he has that kind of cable and she doesn’t have to buy a new one? Or that he finds the picture of a messy cable funny? She had to call him and ask: What do you mean by that thumb? You know what he said? Oh, it means that I have received the photo.

Happy or angry smiley?

They don’t even speak different languages. It is already hard enough to understand each other well, to know exactly what the other person is expressing. Emoticons are supposed to make our communication faster and easier, simpler and more fun. However, even the smiley that laughs until you see its teeth looks scary and angry to some people. Up to today I don’t really know whether the smiley with the tongue is just being mean towards me or whether the sender makes fun of herself…

Facebook and WhatsApp and all the other communication tools have tremendously changed the way we are talking to each other. Just think of how we express ourselves in Twitter or via SMS with just so many characters per message. We can’t live without them anymore, but we could use them in a different manner.

How to use communication tools in a more meaningful way

More and more people look for a more meaningful way of communication. Less connectivity, more connection. Higher awareness, and consciously switching off the devices.

I am currently challenging myself, putting more effort into any type of message I deliver, be it what I say, what I write in an email, text or Facebook message. Expressing it shortly but clearly, without foxes and without smileys or other stickers or thumbs. Hoping that this makes my messages clearer and the action faster – and me better understandable.

It’s not easy, if you are used to smileys, but it gives me a very new feeling for my expression and my language.

Can you imagine writing messages online without smileys or stickers? Tell me in the comments.

Practice by connecting via Facebook, and make sure to sign up for somewhat weekly updates straight to your inbox.

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