December 16, 2015
Do you know anybody that routinely ends their texts with periods? If you do, researchers led by Binghamton University’s Celia Klin report that text messages ending in a period are perceived as being less sincere, probably because the people sending them are heartless. It’s a pretty bold statement, but I don’t think it’s completely inaccurate.
The Washington Post recently published an article about the Binghamton research, quoting the research team as saying:
“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.”
“BETHESDA, MD—In a diabolical omission of the utmost cruelty, stone-hearted ice witch Leslie Schiller sent her friend a callous thank-you email devoid of even a single exclamation point, sources confirmed Monday. “Hey, I had a great time last night,” wrote the cold-blooded crone, invoking the chill of a thousand winters with her sparely punctuated missive—a message as empty of human warmth as the withered hag’s own frozen soul. ‘Nice to get together. We should do it again sometime.’ In a final flourish of ruthless savagery, sources reported that the barbaric gorgon concluded the email with a conspicuously single ‘xo’.”
To take it back to Klin and the Binghamton research team, this is an indication that the realm of text messaging has taken on a life of its own – in this case we’re talking specifically about the period. According to Klin, this is no longer simply a grammatically correct way to end a sentence.
Rather, she states that it’s now an act of “psychological warfare against your friends”. Personally, I think that might be a bit sensationalist, but I do think that this concept could change the way something is perceived versus how you meant it to sound. After all, nobody can deny that you do lose a lot of context when messaging people.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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