Text tone indicators are a proposed solution and a step along the path to better online communication. It’s sometimes difficult to tell others’ use of tone on the internet, even with additional context such as emojis. 🙂
Generations already have their own slang, and texting without punctuation has quickly become a way to imitate ‘casual’ conversation. This has then evolved over time to include adding periods as a way to express anger, or sending a singular ‘k’ to express dismissal.
The next step in online communication then would be some way to communicate the intent or tone behind the words.
Enter: tone indicators.
Tone indicators are shorthand for words used to convey tone, which the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “a quality in the voice that expresses the speaker’s feelings or thoughts”.
The same message can be joking, or serious. It could be teasing, or threatening. We don’t consciously acknowledge it, but you can also immediately tell if the speaker’s delivery was negative, positive, or neutral face to face. It can be sexually suggestive, or entirely friendly. Tone and delivery influences the meaning and implications of a sentence in every way.
Tone indicators are intended for use through text, as miscommunication is frequent in social media. Posts are often misinterpreted, and this looks to fill in some of the missing gaps of information that may otherwise supplement that interpretation.
In fact, in a study, UCLA professor of psychology Albert Mehrabian found that 93% of liking is from non-verbal cues. 38% is due to tone of voice, while an additional 55% is attributed to body language.
Of course, these cues are absent from text-based social medias.
|/gen or /g||genuine|
|/pos or /pc||positive connotation|
|/neg or /nc||negative connotation|
|/l or /ly||lyrics|
|/lu||a little upset|
|/nbh||for when you’re vagueposting or venting, but it’s directed at nobody here (none of your followers)|
|/sx or /x||sexual intent|
|/nsx or /nx||non-sexual intent|
|/rh or /rt||rhetorical question|
When should you use these? When something you’re saying could be ambiguous online. The purpose of the creation of these is to better communicate and exchange ideals.
An example tone indicator,
/j, means joking. To use, simply place at the beginning or end of a sentence.
“(/gen) Wow, you’re such a great friend.”
Genuinely and earnestly saying you have a great friend.
“(/s) Wow, you’re such a great friend.”
Sarcastically saying someone is a great friend.
“I hate you. /j“
Joking with a friend, don’t actually dislike.
“I hate you. /ly“
A song lyric you relate to, not aimed at someone.
“I hate you. /srs“
You’re being serious, and actually hate someone.
I don’t want to use these / Using /j ruins the joke
You don’t have to use them. This is an informational post on the existence of them and their usage.
Think about how you can go into a sitcom, knowing full well that its genre is comedy and its intent is to make you laugh, and still find it funny. If putting two characters at the end of your joke ruins the entire thing, maybe it wasn’t all that funny to begin with.
How many times have you misunderstood a post someone sent to you online, or thought your friend was mad at you through text? If adoption of text tones becomes more commonplace, this could be one such solution to those problems.
(/srs) You also don’t have to use them on every line. Text tones are meant for an easy way to quickly convey the intended attached non verbal data that would otherwise be exchanged in a face to face interaction.
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Published 2022-03-07 14:16:52