Nonverbal communication, loosely defined as all parts of communication other than words, is by far the larger source of information when speaking face-to-face with another person (Knapp 5.) These parts include eye contact, facial expression, rate of speech, volume of speech, gestures, posture, clothing, appearance, smell, paralanguage (sounds, sighs,) and even silence.
From the moment we are born, we begin communicating nonverbally. A baby's cry can be said to be nothing more than his way of communicating to his parents without words, and new parents learn quickly how to distinguish a cry of pain from a cry of hunger or one of boredom. A baby becomes very good at encoding meaning in nonverbal cues such as pointing, and his parents become very good at decoding the meaning. The fact that nonverbal communication is important cannot be understated, but computer-mediated communication continues to play a significant role in global interactions, and this will probably not change in the near future.
One of the most widely used forms of computer-mediated communication is email. In t...
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