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If You Want to Sound Smart, Dont Send an Email

It might seem old-fashioned, but if you want to get something done or make a good impression, pick up the phone. Better yet, say it in person.

New research shows that text-based communications may make individuals sound less intelligent and employable than when the same information is communicated orally.

In other words, if you are trying to impress someone, close a deal, get a job, or make yourself more appealing, don’t let your fingers do the talking.

As the lead researcher explains:

How do we know that another person has a mind at all? The closest you ever get to the mind of another person is through their mouth.

One area where this is loud and clear is on the dating scene. Interpreting text messages is particularly challenging. Punctuation, capital letters, and response time are open to interpretation.

For example, when someone writes “I’ll text you later,” do they really mean they will text later? Is it a blow off? Wired.com offers some insightful decoding tips. For example, an exclamation point can fundamentally alter the meaning of a message. Compare:

Sounds good. Not sure if we’re going but I might see you at the party. If you leave, let me know.

Sounds good. Not sure if we’re going but I might see you at the party. If you leave, let me know!

The tone of the first one is passive whereas the tone of the latter example is enthusiastic and encouraging. Even with a punctuation guide as in this example, it is often impossible to read the tone of a text message.

My advice: pick up the phone.

I wish you all the best,

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