The difference between talking to people irl and online has always been very fascinating to me. I have friends where they don’t ever stop talking when I’m hanging out with them in person. You’d think they will text you back with emojis after every single message simply because of how they talk in person. But you text that same person, literally the driest texter ever. One word replies, no emotions or smiley faces or anything and you’d think that they’re mad, but that’s just how they are. I think texting doesn’t do a message justice simply because the tone of the speaker or the context of a message could be misunderstood easily.
Talking to strangers online would be a similar story. Some people would be bold and confident online and literally won’t shut up when you’re messaging them. They would have the most things to say and have the most smiley faces and all those. But then hang out with that same person irl, they’re so quiet and won’t talk unless you talk to them first. But I guess it wouldn’t be fair to compare the way people act in person and online. Talking online doesn’t really involve confrontation, and sometimes things said through the phone is taken less seriously. When talking in person, you would see through body-language and nonverbal cues which makes it more effective.
At the cafe where I work at, there’s this regular where he would order a specific type of tea. He’d get a small but in a medium cup, 1 cream and 2 sugars, and five ice cubes to cool down the temperature. Behind him in the line there was a girl who ordered an iced coffee and she had the stocks app open on her phone. I was like, “You invest? That’s kinda cool.” She started talking to me about stocks. It was a slow day so she started talking about how investing in banks right now would be a smart move. And we had a conversation about business stuff and money and all those. Then the next customer came in so I had to stop being distracted from actually doing my job and take the order.
Reflecting on that interaction, I think it would not have happened if it was online because I don’t usually ask people about stocks. Let alone random people because who knows if it’s a pyramid scheme or whatever. I mean it still could’ve been a pyramid scheme but it sounded legit so I was actually listening. That’s where tone and nonverbal cues come into play. Something one would not get when talking online.