Tom Wilson wrote a long paper on digital interaction/social communities. Long story short, down with email, up with immediacy and face to face. Helping to refresh the list of reasons why I hate emails longer than 3 lines.
Miscommunication – In a study reported by New York Times, it was found that face-to-face interaction is full of information. We interpret tone, body language, pacing and other factors besides the verbal message to convey a message being transferred. In sending an e-mail, typed words lack rich emotional information that would have been transferred through a phone conversation. Many times words have different meanings through different tonal pitch inflections and pitch inflection can create a positive or negative spin on a sentence. Through e-mail their is no verbal tone, no verbal pitch which can create confusion in interpretation, especially when communicating with an anonymous individual (Goleman 2007:1).
Although e-mail is quick and efficient, it increases the chances of miscommunication and mis-interpretation, leading to possible conflicts which could have been avoided with a personal phone call.(Daniel, 2007) The use of e-mail also leads to the decline in phone conversations, which creates social isolation, as the time it takes to respond to e-mail is not instant as in a real conversation. The use of e-mail creates a social isolation and a distant connection that lacks emotional content that can lead to a decline is social capital.