No one likes abrupt text messages, period.
Or full stop - depends which side of the Atlantic Ocean you fall on we suppose. But what everyone can surely agree on is how using too much punctuation in our text messages creates a minefield of misunderstanding.
Yes, we know, ending a regular text with a tiny dot is sometimes done on purpose - to prove a point in a heated argument, or let some poor sap from Tinder know they aren’t getting that second Tinder date – but more often than not it turns friendly conversations into frosty ones.
And now one scientific study led by Binghamton University's Celia Klis, has pretty much confirmed it, revealing that texts ending with full stops was perceived as being less sincere by its group of 126 participants.
"Text messaging is one of the most frequently used computer-mediated communication (CMC) methods. The rapid pace of texting mimics face-to-face communication, leading to the question of whether the critical non-verbal aspects of conversation, such as tone, are expressed in CMC," read the findings recently published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.
For the study, the undergraduate volunteers were presented with a series of text message invites and by a brief reply. When the reply was followed by a full stop, subjects deemed the response as less sincere than when no punctuation was used.
Moreover, when the team attempted the test with handwritten notes, the same effect wasn’t apparent, making this type of punctuated passive aggression a smartphone-only concern:
"Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on," Klin said in a statement. "People obviously can't use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation."
So what about our old friend the exclamation mark, giving even the most innocuous of statements a Chandler Bing level of sarcasm?
In follow-up research by the team (still to be published), the punctuation mark will also make people sound much less sincere.
Could it be any more annoying?!
[Via: The Independent]