How many times has one of the emails you’ve sent been misinterpreted by the person on the receiving end? Or perhaps you’ve read more into an email than the sender intended? There is a new product out there that might help cut down on digital miscommunication.
According to the producing company, Lymbix, “ToneCheck™ is an e-mail plug-in that flags sentences with words or phrases that may convey unintended emotion or tone, then helps you re-write them. Just like Spell Check… but for Tone.” I can’t decide whether this is truly ingenious technology, or if it is representative of the disconnect between authenticity and responsibility for one’s digital communication.
I am perhaps disheartened that some people really need this software to make them aware of how they communicate through email. On the other hand, if people find ToneCheck™ prevents misunderstandings and miscommunication over email it may be a worthwhile precautionary measure.
From an educational perspective, ToneCheck™ could be a new tool to help us educate students about intended and perceived meaning in digital communications. We certainly teach our students about oral communication and the connotations certain phrases or words carry, why not have the education for digital communication too?
Check out the animated video that The New York Times created about ToneCheck™.