IM: words in the air or recorded forever? How many times have you misread a text or IM, or been misinterpreted yourself? Written spoken discourse leaves itself open to misinterpretation because the suprasegmental features are not apparent and neither is body language.
When we speak face-to-face with others, we are careful about what we say for fear of misinterpretation or offending the person/people you are conversing with. We therefore carefully and diplomatically communicate our message and use body language and features of connected speak to express ourselves.
Ironically though when we message others using one of the plethora of online messaging apps and services, or a mobile phone service providers’ texting service, we often send the message before we have had time to re-read it. It seems to be the case that the immediacy that instant messaging has brought the global messaging community has affected the way we communicate.
The written word is recorded, and the spoken is ephemeral discourse in the air, yet we pay attention to the ephemeral and not the recorded!