01 logo

What are Digital Body Languages and Why Do We Need to Learn Those?

by Moshiur Rahman 10 months ago in list
Report Story

Digital Languages have become a part and parcel of digital communications without which we cannot think of a single day. In her book, The Digital Language, Erica Dhawan has discussed in detail. A series of articles will be published to focus on all the concepts. Let's explore the first one below.

Digital communications failure costs us a lot

"Today, roughly 70 percent of all communication among teams is virtual. We send around 306 billion emails every day, with the average person sending 30 emails daily and fielding 96. According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 percent of the time the “tone” of our emails is misinterpreted. " Source: The Digital Body Language

While communicating with someone in person, we exchange our words, emotions and feelings with one another. But when we communicate through written texts, it becomes very difficult to exchange our emotions and feelings. As most of our communications have turned into digital exchanges containing all types of text messages like instant messaging, emails, comments on social media etc, our competence to communicate has been compromised significantly because of our inability or carelessness regarding transcending emotions and feelings which are known as digital body languages.

Digital body languages are becoming increasingly important in our day to day life for the following reasons,

Firstly, just think of the importance of a handshake after work is done. The same thing is done but our ability to care has become minimized significantly when we communicate digitally.

Secondly, Timing is a crucial factor. In the case of face-to-face communications, standing two feet away when we finish asking a question, we get the answer instantly. But when we communicate on a digital platform, most of the time, it becomes very difficult for the participants to respond in a timely fashion, resulting in annoyance and disturbances.

Thirdly, our screens have made significant manipulations in our body language because when we communicate through our cell phones or other devices we become completely forgetful about our surroundings. For example, while texting a client during our lunch, we do not tend to consider the background. But in the case of face-to-face communications, we count every smile, annoyance, disgust, disappointment etc.

Fourthly, Digital means have enabled us to hide our emotions and feelings which are important parts of any kind of communication because these provide us strong feedbacks about our exchanges.

The fifth point is our unawareness of digital body language. For competent digital communications, learning digital languages has become essential in the age of digitization. One more important thing is dealing with the complexities arising from miscommunications and obscurity.

Below are some examples of digital body languages. Source: The Digital Body Language by Erica Dhawan,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Traditional Body Language involves: a head tilted to one side, signaling that another person is listening attentively.

Digital Body Language involves: “liking” a text. Praising another person’s input in an email. Making a detailed comment verbally or in the chatbox during a video call when someone expresses an idea, instead of just saying, “I agree.”

A detailed comment can be a supplement to a face to face empathetic listening


Traditional Body Language involves: smiling. (It’s contagious. Our smile lights up the areas of the brain linked to happiness, which is why the people we smile attend to smile back and/or feel a stronger sense of connection with us.)

Digital Body Language involves: using exclamation points and emojis (well, within reason). Adding a simple Have a great weekend to the end of an email. Laughing during a video meeting.

A smile is a powerful motivator which needs to be replicated in our text


Traditional Body Language involves: stroking your chin or pausing for a few seconds, signaling that you’re thinking about what’s just been said.

Digital Body Language involves: taking a few extra minutes to respond to a text, indicating respect for what it says. Writing a long or detailed response to an email that shows thought and focus. Pausing during a conference call to take in what’s been said instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.

Thoughtfulness or seriousness can be expressed through long detailed mail or text


Traditional Body Language involves: nodding. Bobbing our heads up and down makes us seem both interested and approachable. Nods, like smiles, are infectious, meaning that if we nod while we’re speaking, others are more likely to go along with what we say.

Digital Body Language involves: responding promptly to a text, showing engagement by replying to an email with substantive comments. Writing I completely agree with what you’re saying in the group chat during a Microsoft Teams meeting. Using a thumbs-up emoji in a video meeting.


Thanks a lot for reading this article. If you love this, please leave me a heart. Tips are not necessary but a great encouragement to create more.

Below are Our Facebook Communities,

The International Readers' and Writers' Community of The Vocal Media

The Vocal Readers and Writers Group

Moshiur Rahman Author Page on Facebook


About the author

Moshiur Rahman

My mother tongue is not English. But I like to imagine, think and write in English just because it is my passion and I love to do that.

Facebook Author Page, Profile

Readers' and Writers' Page

Vocal Creators page

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2022 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.