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Forums > RP Discussion > How do you manage your tone when talking OOC?

Because I keep putting people off without meaning to and it's a bummer.

Any tips on how not to come off as surly?

Being it's typed word, tones and inflections and how they may be taken are a bit hard to judge.
I just try and be polite and try and keep it about the RPs and not stray into too much RL stuff right away.

I often have a hard time gauging tone when reading text, as do many others. As an attempt to ward that off when I'm talking OOC with someone I don't know super well, I either pick my words carefully to try and use ones that invoke the feeling I'm trying to express, or I use emoticons and emojis. The latter isn't super "professional" or "refined " or whatever, but RP is a fun game and not a professional environment so I try not to let it bother me too much. A simple :) or ^u^ at the end of an OOC message generally gets across the notion that I'm typing with a positive tone, a :c or :( indicates sadness, owo or :0 interest, etc.

Thanks for the tips, guys! ^^

I just wish there was a better way to communicate that "I like you, person, and I would like to initiate/continue/etc." without coming off as mean or someone not worth talking to. :'v

I just wanna collaborative write and interact with OCs and have mine interacted with. :'u

Text is a hard thing to communicate through, we often hear things said in our heads that are different then how others here it haha

Best way I think to do that is to just honestly say it as you did here.
"Hey, you're pretty cool, I'd like to collaborate and discuss ocs with you"
Honesty and just being careful how you say things are your best bet.
Remember, "I feel" and "I think" come off softer then "you did" or other you statements, wish you the best!

As others have mentioned, tone through text is very difficult to portray on even the best of days. I’ve heard the art of interpreting text as being called ‘Virtual Body Language’, and it’s not that far off from the truth.

With physical body language, we have the benefit of viewing a persons posture, hearing their tone of voice, observing their facial cues, where they look, if they grin or frown, etc.. With text… putting it bluntly, its often a crap shoot.

The majority of understanding text conversations is pretty much getting to know the person you’re talking to, and them getting used to you. As people get to know each others quirks, likes, dislikes, and text habits (Such as typing speed, use of grammar, use of punctuation, etc.), they can start picking out the persons ‘virtual tone’.

For example, if someone that normally types slowly is suddenly answering you rapid speed, take a look at the conversation: Is it a topic they seem to know a lot about or one that they have an interest in? Their faster typing speed might be indicative of excitement. Or did the conversations topic hit a sensitive note, and now they're upset? Context within the realm of the conversation and your conversation partner is extremely important.

Here's another example. If the person is usually a very verbose typer but suddenly they’re giving short replies, it might be time to step back and check the conversation again. They might be disinterested, or you may have caught them at a bad time (such as just having woken up), or they’re upset. In situations like that, ask. Asking will let the person know you care, you’re concerned, and you want to make a connection with that person as an individual, not just as a player behind a computer monitor.

Someone that is usually very good about grammar, spelling, and punctuation might abandon their typing habits in various situations. If they’re angry, they might type fast and ignore incorrect spelling or grammar. If the person is upset, they might forego punctuation. Some people rely on capitol and lower case letters to signify mood. We all know the phrase ‘Caps lock is cruise control for cool’, for example, and a person that is typing in all caps might be either very angry (WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU) or super excited (HOLY CRAP DID YOU SEE THE LATEST EPISODE?!).

Someone that types in all lower case letters might be having a 'lazy day', or they are feeling emotionally down, and are subconsciously showing that through the way they are typing. If you can learn to improve your observation skills as you talk to people, these kinds of quirks will become easier to pick up. As you pick them up, they will help you learn how to better communicate, and learn to avoid certain subjects, words, and phrases that could accidentally make you come across as surly, rude, or any other sort of descriptor.

There are important things to keep note of when digitally conversing with people beyond these suggestions. Due to not having any form of visual, you need to be patient and take your time with your conversation partners. Giving people nicknames right out the gate, for example, can come across as sketchy to some people. Learn to ask yourself if a topic of conversation is appropriate for the person you are currently talking to. Not everyone will enjoy the same subjects, and the best way to avoid coming across as insensitive is to learn who you are interacting with.

Use of emotes/ emojis/ chat short hand (lol/ etc) can definitely help make your conversation intent clearer, but you likewise need to keep in mind that overuse of such things can make things worse. Above all? Learn to step away when you feel the need. If a conversation is going poorly, let your chat partner(s) know you need to cool off a bit but you will be back when your head is together. This is a good way to avoid saying something that you might regret later, and it will show your conversation buddies that you don't want to risk hurting their friendship/ company by letting emotions get the better of you. Doing that will help endear you to them, and go a long way to showing them how much you respect them as people.

Ultimately? The best way to put your digital best foot forward is to be open and honest as others have mentioned. If you are worried about coming across as surly, or stand offish, or anything else, preface your conversation with individuals or groups that 'if something you say came across badly, please let you know so you can explain or make amends'. And always remember that while you are struggling with digital conversations, the people you are talking to are probably struggling, as well - with coming across poorly, with interpreting the conversations mood, or even with something as simple as shyness or a tendency to overshare. If you can help each other, you'll all come out stronger for it, not just as writers, but as observers and interpreters.

Good luck!

That's not something you should worry about. There is, I'm sure of it, nothing wrong with the way you message other people and if they are 'unnerved' by it, that's their own problem only.

We're here to have a good time, not write business letters to each other. :^)

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Forums > RP Discussion > How do you manage your tone when talking OOC?