Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.
By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.
What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.
My provocative question last week was about music as the universal language. This week, it’s about verbal and written communications. It was triggered when another blogger — I’m sorry that I can’t remember who — featured this quote from Alan Greenspan, an American economist who served as chairman of the Federal Reserve of the United States from 1987 to 2006.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Greenspan’s quote got me thinking about human communications. The purpose of communications is to convey information from one person to another. We use both spoken and written words to communicate ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and opinions.
Communications are effective when the recipient of a thought, whether by listening or reading, understands the meaning intended by the speaker or writer.Unfortunately, miscommunication is common, where the listener or reader fails to understand what is said or written.
Scientists say that humans began speaking about 100,000 years ago, and writing began around 4000 B.C. Prior to written language, humans used pictures (e.g., cave drawings) to communicate. These drawings evolved into word symbols. The evolution of language from pictures to words suggests that the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is false, since it’s almost impossible to convey conditional, complex, or complicated ideas with a simple image.
And yet these days, people seem to be leveraging emojis more and more on electronic communications to convey ideas, concepts, emotions, thoughts, and opinions.
So, with that background, the provocative question this week is simply this:
Do you believe that, in social media communications, people are going overboard in their use of emojis? Why or why not?
If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.