E-Mail and Social Skills

According to two researchers, employees are just as likely to speak to a coworker working on the same floor via E-mail as they would to counterparts working in different time zones, says Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. Speaking of the effect E-mail can have on social skills, David Crystal, a professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, says: “Simultaneous feedback is a fundamental feature of conversation,” and E-mail does not allow for this because of the time lag between receiving and responding to a message. Moreover, an E-mail writer can monopolize the conversation without being interrupted. “The ability to take turns in conversation,” states the Globe, “is an essential social skill.”