Kanat Sultanbekov Talks About Non-Verbal Communication in the Digital Age

Kanat Sultanbekov Talks About Non-Verbal Communication in the Digital Age

Nonverbal communication implies to the manner in which people convey information through their attitudes, emotions, needs and intentions. As Kanat Sultanbekov says, examples of nonverbal communication may include posture, eye contact and facial expressions. Nonverbal communication also includes the gestures made by a person, their tone of voice, as well as the mannerisms used by them for completing or putting emphasis on verbal messages. While digital communication is mostly typing down words, there still are a few nonverbal components that help add context and give out social cues in the online domain.

Kanat Sultanbekov sheds light on non-verbal communication in the digital age

Non-verbal communication is essentially a two-fold concept. Part of the equation is how others perceive a person, and the other component is how they understand others through their non-verbal messaging and cues. Non-verbal communication is not an exact science. After all, there is a lot of ambiguity involved in how one may interpret the signal of one person versus how another person may do so. Non-verbal communication often relies on one’s experiences and their relationship to the communicator. However, even with these subjective discrepancies, non-verbal cues carry a lot of meaning for both parties. Hence, it is important to know the important aspects of non-verbal communication in the digital age, which include:

  • Emoticons: Originating in the early 1980s, emoticons added a new dimension to digital communication. Right from simple smiley and laughing faces to frowning, raising eyebrows and crying, over time an expansive range of emoticons have successfully substituted human facial expressions in online communication.  Much like in face-to-face situations, more expressive people use emoticons more frequently than less expressive people.
  • Profile pictures and avatars: The use of profile pictures and avatars is another important element of non-verbal communication in the digital age. In the digital space, users often get to choose images that represent their identity, personality, or mood. The careful selection of a profile picture can convey a sense of professionalism, friendliness, or creativity, contributing to the overall impression others have of the individual in the online world.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): The emergence of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies further expands the possibilities for non-verbal communication in the digital space. Avatars in virtual worlds can mimic real-world gestures and expressions, allowing for a more immersive and natural interaction. This evolution in technology holds the potential to bring a heightened sense of presence and non-verbal communication to online interactions.
  • Attention and engagement signals: Non-verbal cues related to attention and engagement have become pretty important in the digital space, especially with the growing prominence of remote working. In virtual meetings or collaborative online platforms, individuals may use indicators such as “raising a hand” or providing feedback through emoticons to signal participation, agreement, or disagreement. These digital gestures facilitate smoother communication in group settings.

As per Kanat Sultanbekov, to an extent, even the ability to customize digital communication tools contributes to non-verbal expression. Today users are able to personalize their messaging apps, email signatures, and online profiles to reflect their individual style and preferences. These choices serve as non-verbal signals of identity, allowing people to express themselves in a way that aligns with their personality and values online.

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