“The richness of spoken language is often misinterpreted by online communiction.”
When contacting people online, much of what we say can be interpreted by the other person in a way that is different from how we visualise it, purely because prosodic and paralinguistic features are harder to communicate online than in spoken language. Prosodic features are aspects of you voice such as pitch, tone, volume, pace, and rhythm. Paralinguistic features include aspects such as body language and facial expression. These features are non-verbal forms of communication which are hard to express through text, If expressed, the most common way these features are expressed online and through text is through emojis, punctuation and capital letters. These features have always existed and come naturally for everyone in spoken language, they are not something we try to do, they happen as we speak, for example when agreeing with someone we often raise our eyebrows and nod as the person is talking to us, we use this as a way of agreeing without interrupting the person as they speak. There are many examples of these features like, hand gestures, and movement, we point and move our hands in a way that may help the person/people we are communicating with understand our point and a way of reinforcing what you’re saying.
An example of prosodic and paralinguistic features displayed through text is a conversation between Mia and I.
Mia: Yoooo, what you doing 2morrow?
Fi: Not much probably just school then chill hbu?
Mia: Same same, lets do something ????
Fi: Sounds good! I’d be keen, what do you have in mind?????
Mia: Hmmmm lake and ice-cream?
Fi: Yes im keen as a been can we get gelato!?
Fi: Swim if good day!
Mia: Yussss ???? ????
Fi: Love me some black peak
Mia: Faaaaab, talk lata ???? (glasses and teeth emoji)
In this example you can see the pattern in emojis and how we use them, if this was a spoken conversation instead of emojis we would use prosodic and paralinguistic features to help communicate our ideas.