Emotion, Human Connection, and the Virtual World

Emotion, Human Connection, and the Virtual World

Recently I was reviewing some research on popular TED talks that found that the most successful speakers used more hand gestures, tonal variety, and smiling than the less successful ones.  A lot more.  More than twice as much, in fact.  Those speakers were rated as more charismatic than the other speakers, and more popular.  What’s […]

The Virtual World Is an Emotional Desert

The Virtual World Is an Emotional Desert

When humans communicate face-to-face, we do so with little conscious effort, most of the time. Even when language is a barrier, we can quickly get the gist of the idea through body language, facial expression, the emotion conveyed. When we communicate at a distance, virtually, the effort involved is considerable and the opportunities for miscommunication […]

The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 1

The Communication Problem at the Heart of Our Digital Era, Part 1

We live half our lives in the virtual world, half in the real, so that many of our communications are wholly virtual, and that’s a human disaster. The ongoing human emotional train wreck that is the digital era began, arguably, with email and the attempt to solve two particular problems with older forms of communication:  […]

What’s Wrong with Virtual Communication, Part 1

We are all unwitting participants in a massive social experiment that began slowly after World War II and gathered speed in the last decade with the introduction of the smart phone.  We have created virtual personas, online worlds, digital connections, social media lives, email relationships, audio-conference teams, video linkups – the whole panoply of ways […]

The Problem with Email

The Problem with Email

When email first worked its way into most workplaces, it was part of a dedicated system, a set of interconnected computers limited to little more than email itself, with batch runs of data at night and that sprocket paper to print out on – like a slightly more flexible telex machine.  Then desktop computers became […]