A text, a snap, a tweet, a swipe, a follow or a voicemail — fast-paced technology has created a whole new set of questions in the gauntlet of dating.
But new US research from Indiana University showed in the digital age that the humble email could be the key to spicing up a relationship, especially when compared to leaving a voice message.
Authors Alan Dennis and Taylor Wells stated emails allowed people take their time and reflect on pouring their feelings on to the page for their would-be lover.
Using psycho-physiological measures from 72 university-aged people, Dennis and Wells found people who sent romantic emails were more emotionally aroused and used stronger, more thoughtful language than those who left voicemails.
While emailing hit the mass public in the early ’90s, Generation Y respondents agreed emails were still a better way to express their emotions than a vague voicemail message in the aftermath of a missed phone call.
“When writing romantic emails, senders consciously or subconsciously added more positive content to their messages, perhaps to compensate for the medium’s inability to convey vocal tone,” the research paper published in Computers in Human Behaviors stated.
“Email enables senders to modify the content as messages are composed to ensure they are crafted to the needs of the situation … voicemail lacks this feature.
“A sender records a voicemail in a single take, and it can be sent or discarded and re-recorded, but not edited. Thus senders engage with email messages longer and may think about the task more deeply than when leaving voicemails.
“This extra processing may increase arousal.”
Dennis and Wells claim their research busted the myth that meaningful communication was floundering with the rise of technology.