Dear Blog Readers,
I would like to respond to a comment from Theron regarding this post addressing the notion that only 7% of communication is verbal. In my post, I offered a thorough, research-based explanation of those communicative acts that compose the remaining 93% of communication (yawning, bodily noises, dancing & singing, and thumb wrestling).
Theron writes, “What about kissing? Don’t we also communicate through touch? I think your percentages are flawed.”
Ignoring the fact that the information contained in my blogs is never flawed and always fact-checked through a variety of rock solid methods (only one of which includes asking myself if I think I’m right, and it always turns out that I do), Theron has, coincidentally, stumbled upon an insignificant point here.
It’s hardly even worth mentioning.
But the frequently quoted “Only 7% of the message is communicated verbally” is, it turns out, a misquote. In fact, this myth is based on the research of Albert Mehrabian, who was investigating only the communication of attitudes, and he himself observes that obviously in the communication of specific messages, such as physical relationships or technical information, 100% of the message is verbal.
That is to say, allegedly, if I am giving you directions over the phone to my apartment for my fabulous party tonight (which I’m not, because you’re not invited), I will not successfully communicate my location through the exclusive use of facial expressions nor via a delicately-placed bodily noise. Supposedly, verbalizing the directions will be the most effective means of conveying my apartment’s position in space.
So, Theron, while I acknowledge your comment, I have to point to the above evidence that has mounted against your kissing claim. I absolutely cannot explain technical information nor give specific directions while kissing you. In fact, I daresay that kissing you would make verbal explanations even harder, as kissing tends to utilize the mouth, which is the very member allotted for speaking. Therefore, Theron, while I hate to prove you wrong in front of all of my Readers, you can kiss me or you can speak to me but you cannot do both simultaneously without running the risk of choking.
Moreover, I must point out that there is really no need to communicate through kissing when we use the act of thumb-wrestling, as described in this post, which satisfies our human need for touch through more sanitary means. Thumb-wrestling also carries a low level risk of choking as opposed to the simultaneous speaking-kissing effort described above. As I believe passionately in practicing “safe communication,” I may be recommending to my Readers in the future that abstaining from more traditional communicative acts in favor of frequent thumb-wrestling should be implemented worldwide.
I hope that this additional information has enhanced my Readers’ understanding of communication, kissing, and the risks involved in each. For more information, please order my elaborately-entitled book, “Communication: Should It Be Permanently Discontinued And Should Thumb-Wrestling Take Its Place, Or Is There A Way To Safely Reconcile The Two?”