The Virtual Communication Trap and the Way Out
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 32.2 million Americans live alone. They comprise 28 percent of all households. But we also see almost thousand dating service establishments generating almost half a billion dollars (U.S. Bureau 2002). This shows that many singles actively seek a relationship. But for many male singles working in the IT and online business, finding a partner is twice as hard.
On the one hand many relationships form at the workspace, which makes it difficult for men in men dominated work environments.
On the other hand working in the IT, in virtual teams or in online businesses means mostly to communicate via mail, phone, Twitter etc. and to interact less directly with real people. From social psychology we know that we communicate pm eleven channels simultaneously when talking to people directly – one verbal and ten nonverbal channels. By using modern communication tools, we reduce these channels mostly to two or three.
This concludes in the fact that people, who mostly communicate virtually, decrease their ability to communicate successfully when it comes to real life interactions – like in dating scenarios.
Global Emotion GmbH (www.globalemotion.com), a university spin-off from Munich, tries to address and solve this issue by using knowledge from Neuroscience and Psychology and implementing it into online and mobile applications training nonverbal communication.
Diana Weiss, Psychotherapist from Munich: ”You would be astonished how emotionally illiterate some people become. They lack basic abilities like detecting correctly how another person feels.”
Unfortunately this emotional intelligence is desperately needed by finding a partner. Especially the first encounters with an interesting partner require special skills to maneuver oneself successfully through the shallow waters of dating.
One example of the Global Emotion Technologies is the iPhone App “Getting Flirty” teaching men to decode female facial micro expressions. The clue is that one can actually learn to detect when the girl is getting annoyed or when she likes what one is saying. By that one can gently steer around obstacles and improve one’s chances for a second date.