I believe technology is evolving the ways in which we communicate.
Forty years ago, the ways in which we communicated were limited to face-to-face, letter or telephone. It should be no surprise that as new technologies emerge to make life easier, new ways to communicate emerge as well. The two most popular technologically advanced medians in which we communicate are email and the internet (personal web pages, chat rooms, etc…).
Email may be the biggest evolutionary advance in communication in modern history. Initially, email was thought that they were too impersonal. Like written mail, how do you convey tone of voice, sarcasm, and nonverbal cues in which the reader gets a feel for how his message is being received? The answer is as ingenious as email itself, emoticons.
Emoticons, according to Adler (1997), are combinations of keyboard characters that relay nonverbal facial expressions. They are so commonly accepted and used, that on most word processing programs typing a colon and a back parenthesis yields J rather then : ). Other emotions that can be displayed are: :o for surprise, L for sad, or ;) for a wink. Although emoticons are more commonly used in chat room environments, it is common to see them in email as well.
In the business world, email is often frowned upon due to its impersonal nature. It may work for interoffice messages replacing the memo system, but I believe anyone who has been in a business environment trusts face to face communication sealed with a handshake rather than electronic correspondence. I believe there should be a balance of both. According to Adler (1997), “emailers can choose the desired level of clarity or ambiguity, seriousness or humor, logic or emotion. Unlike face-to-face communication, electronic communication allows a sender to say different things without forcing the receiver to respond immediately and it