The Curse of Online Miscommunication

Christie Nguyen, Taymor Flower, Tatiana Paredes, Risa Nagase

With the burgeoning of technology, communication has drastically changed and shifted to texting on electronic devices. Unparalleled to this, conversations have become much more accessible, and texting has revolutionized the way we interact with one another, but at what cost? The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that lead to miscommunication in the digital world. The methodology used was survey research, in which the data collected were through questionnaires that were administered to participants individually. The participants were of the ages 18 to 22, undergraduate students at UCLA, and in a romantic, heterosexual relationship. The participants were asked a series of questions about whether or not there is miscommunication online between them and their partners. If so, they were asked to submit a screenshot demonstrating miscommunication or explain their interaction. Overall, the findings from the survey indicate that miscommunication online occurs frequently as a result of a lack of social cues, including tone, emotion, body gestures, and facial expressions. Many couples had issues with mistaking texts as a joke, missing a joke, not understanding sarcasm, not understanding passive aggressiveness, and mistaking blunt responses as rude.

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