Emotions in the Ether: Strategies for Effective Emotional Expression in Text-Messages


This essay offers an exploration of the practice of emotional expression in text-messages, and gives recommendations concerning how best to signify emotion when communicating with text-messages. Emotions can be shown in text-messages in two ways: With words and with orthography. Two potential problems associated with expressing emotions in text-messages are ambiguity of tone and disinhibited communicative behavior. Two of the advantages of expressing emotions in text-messages are ease of contact between interlocutors and the control text-message senders have over their messages. When the two methods of expressing emotion in text-messages are understood, the two problems are avoided, and the two benefits are embraced, text-messages can be more effective tools for sharing emotional meaning – and thus more effective tools for personal connection.