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Posted (edited)

When inworld, do you prefer using text or voice to communicate? Why?

In 10+ years in SL I've voiced a handful of times up until recently. The reason? I prefer text. I like to immerse into SL, and so as part of that I imagine the avatars' voices, like in reading a book, and just like a book made into a movie it can be jarring when you hear actors voice characters so differently than how you imagined it in your head. The only time a voice was better than anything I could imagine in SL was long ago, with a British guy who has the most silky baritone combined with an accent so posh he makes the BBC guys sound like Cockneys. :::zomg, swoon::: ANYway...

I recently have been attending a lot of group meetings that are held in voice. Text is allowed, but it can be a pain in the gluteal area. After waaaaay too many hours trying to figure out why my mic wouldn't work on my desktop whereas it does on my laptop, I now have voice. I hate it. I hate the sound of my own voice. I am not thrilled to hear other people's voices.

And of course there's the old SL thing of "voice verify" which... hasn't anyone ever heard of voice modulators, so how is the notion of verifying still a thing? 

Edited by Seicher Rae
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Text. 

Text for DAYS.

I despise voice in SL for anything other than sex between two people when it gets to the really good part. 

Otherwise it's a cluster of people talking over each other, followed by another cluster of people saying, "Huh?", "What did you say?", and "Sorry, couldn't hear you," and other verbal diarrhea. 

It's a bigger headache than it's worth. 

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Posted (edited)

I was recently at a crowded store when a gorgeous, tall (6ft), sharply dressed woman entered. She was one of those people who simply stands out from the crowd, by dint of natural beauty and impeccable style. A store employee immediately greeted her, and I was expecting to hear the husky voice of Kathleen Turner in return. Instead, I heard Alvin the Chipmunk on helium. I spent some time that evening wondering what life must be like for that woman.

Though I'm a very fast typist, text still gives me time to raise my apparent IQ by at least 10-50 points as I compose. I wouldn't want to give that up, nor have any of you give that up. If SL is our chance to do ourselves over, why not?

To extend the question a bit, would any of you consider using facial recognition software to animate the faces of your avatars? Keep in mind that this would add eye contact (and eye rolling), or lack of it, to the currently nearly empty list of cues other people could use to gauge your engagement.

I don't and won't use voice.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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10 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

To extend the question a bit, would any of you consider using facial recognition software to animate the faces of your avatars? Keep in mind that this would add eye contact (and eye rolling), or lack of it, to the currently nearly empty list of cues other people could use to gauge your engagement.

   I would smile a lot, and laugh. If I type /me smiles in chat, it's because that's what I'm doing. I hope I don't eyeroll very much.

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9 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

To extend the question a bit, would any of you consider using facial recognition software to animate the faces of your avatars? Keep in mind that this would add eye contact (and eye rolling), or lack of it, to the currently nearly empty list of cues other people could use to gauge your engagement.

 

If I'm understanding what you mean, when using voice a gadget would also record our facial expressions and mimic them on the avatar? OH HELLZNO. lol. I wear my emotions on my sleeve, as well as my facial expressions. Think: Worst Poker Player Ever. :) I sigh (which you can hear in voice, demmit) and roll my eyes and smirk and bite my lower lip a LOT. I wouldn't want to burden poor SR with that!

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16 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I was recently at a crowded store when a gorgeous, tall (6ft), sharply dressed woman entered. She was one of those people who simply stands out from the crowd, by dint of natural beauty and impeccable style.

That can't be right, I'm not that tall! I don't do voice either.

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I much prefer text over voice, but don't mind using voice.

Reason I like text over voice is because:

  • I can easily go back and see what was said.
  • I have a speech impediment, specifically a lisp, which I am somewhat self-conscious about.
  • I also have autism which makes me unable to speak properly, I often pause mid-sentence as my voice gets ahead of my thought process.
  • No worries of voice cutting out, which I notice happens a lot(both on SL and on other platforms).

Reasons I like voice over text:

  • It is faster than typing.
  • I can sit back and relax.
  • I can get up and go across the room while still being connected(wireless headphones!)
  • I can multi-task using voice activity.

There are benefits to using voice especially in meetings, as it enforces a bit of turn taking, where as text, people will type over each other and often push other's questions out of the way. Though safe hubs have shown me people really don't care about turn taking and will talk over each other regardless.

As for voice verification, I find it a bit silly but also having it's meaning. I have no problem telling people I am male in real life when I have a female/herm avatar. If people judge me for it so be it, my RL profile tab will always contain the truth whether people like it or not. It's my Second Life, I'll enjoy it as I please. Though I can understand why people do want voice verification, as some.. untrustworthy people will lie and pretend to be female. At least with being male I can say I am male and people will believe me!

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Posted (edited)

Most every time I hear voice chat I get a flashback to a scene from a movie I saw long, long ago (I think it was an Italian movie that had been dubbed to English). The two protagonists were doing a tandem skydive and as they sailed down towards the ground, they kept talking to each other in perfectly normal everyday voices with pefectly dead close mic studio acoustics. I would have been all for voice for casual chat - and even accept struggling with understanding all the various dialects and  - if it would add to the immersion. But as it is, it doesn't, it always distracts from it.

When it comes to "serious" talks, I think of something my high school biology teacher told us: the weakest ink remembers better than the strongest brain.

Then of course it's the language problem. Not everybody in SL speak Engish very well or at all and I still haven't heard of a real time voice translator.

Edited by ChinRey
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Voice for sure is my preference. There are valid reasons for using either over the other according to the circumstances but my mantra for this as for most everything in 2020 is TPO, Time, Place, Occasion. I’m on voice a lot both with people who are also in voice and those who type only but listen. I’m fine either way but I communicate better and easier in voice. Especially if we are doing something, I don’t have to stop walking, building, sorting etc...to type. 

Yep,  I’d use a facial recognition software IF I tested it and it returned valid representations. I use video chat with friends and for meetings so this seems like it would feel similar Not for just walking around, because it would not really be worth it for that...but for interactive things with other people where it could optionally add another layer? Sure, I’d give it a go. I do use my mesh head facial expression hud manually sometimes...observant people have noticed. 😉
 

No smell-o-vision though please? 🙃 

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Posted (edited)

Voice is pointless for those of us who are deaf or have hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

 

Facial recognition? No way. LL would charge us out the ass for that.

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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Text for multiple reason.

One that comes to mind is that it's really, REALLY hard to have multi person conversations over only voice. In real life we have body language to help - like seeing who's about to say something so you can perhaps wait with saying what you were going to. Even business calls with more than two participants get messy, relaxed ones even more so. One on one it's doable.

But I still prefer text even then; it's just more immersive.

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45 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

To extend the question a bit, would any of you consider using facial recognition software to animate the faces of your avatars? Keep in mind that this would add eye contact (and eye rolling), or lack of it, to the currently nearly empty list of cues other people could use to gauge your engagement.

My avatar would just look like I was stuck with my eyes rolled back in my head. 😋

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Text. Even with one hand I can still type as fast as most people, so long as I don't bother with proper capitalisation. I dislike the sound of my own voice, and most of all I dislike the idea that other people in my RL house can hear what I am saying. 

I dislike using my phone in public for exactly the same reason, and if I am not at home, I will send a text rather than make a call every time.

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48 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Otherwise it's a cluster of people talking over each other, followed by another cluster of people saying, "Huh?", "What did you say?", and "Sorry, couldn't hear you,"

In my experience, that sorts itself pretty quickly in a group as people attune to hearing the verbal cues and pauses of everyone and of course actually listen. Just an observance, I’m decidedly not about trying to convince anyone else that voice > text. 

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1 minute ago, Fauve Aeon said:

I’m decidedly not about trying to convince anyone else that voice > text. 

Yeah, I don't think there is a wrong or right answer to this. My OP was simple curiosity about preferences. :)

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6 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Voice is pointless for those of us who are deaf or have hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

Very true. Text is less than useful for people with vision or motor skill hindrance who can’t read or type well or at all. There’s no one good  ‘way’. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Seicher Rae said:

I hate it. I hate the sound of my own voice. I am not thrilled to hear other people's voices.

Yeah. I find voice is actually exclusionary. Then again I used to know some non-hearing folks in SL.

I just won't attend a voice meeting, even to listen. It is actually, for me, more about not wanting to hear folks...

I form mental images of the people I meet and they are usually based on how they portray themselves in SL - avatar and actions - and the voice shatters that wall for me even when both gender and ethnicity match. And when dialect doesn't match... when the dialect of the person matches some stereotype but I -LACK- the real person i front of me to help shatter that stereotype... it sends my mind in the wrong direction in ways that can be falsely negative or falsely positive...

...

A lot of people are not good 'public speakers' too...

I work remotely, I am in voice meetings all day at work... I hear some folks who... sound jarring or pace poorly or are still stuck in the use of 'like' and 'um' gap-fillers. In text they can be eloquent and highly intelligent. In person they have body language to bolster their communication... as a ghostly voice over my internet... it fails...

...

I've actually grown distant from some people because of their use of voice in all group social gatherings... it's why I don't go to two of my former favorite places that much anymore; commune utopia and 'Naked'... the host there (same person), loves voice. So I increasingly find myself out of conversations.

I find voice can make the people who don't use it feel extremely unwelcome. And of course it just flat out excludes people with 'accessibility issues'.

Given how 'disabled friendly' SL usually is, this is a glaring exception.

It feels like the 'disable community version' of a gay bar with a sign out front that says 'trans people can GTFO' (I hear gay and lesbian hangouts used to do that to each other back in the 70s here in the Bay Area).

Or how in 'POC' communities, you will find minority groups exclude each other (which becomes very obvious when you're mixed).

Insistence on voice is exclusionary. I don't know how many non-hearing folks are left in SL, but I imagine it's been shrinking since voice took off.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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2 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Voice is pointless for those of us who are deaf or have hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

That's true but we also have to remember there are people here who are struggling to type for various reasons. I do switch on voice when I'm communicating with somebody with that problem but since my computer doesn't have a microphone at all, it ends up with them talking and me typoing - hardly a good solution for either side.

What I'd really love to have, is good, smooth voice-to-text and text-to-voice conversions. Maybe some day...

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1 minute ago, Fauve Aeon said:

In my experience, that sorts itself pretty quickly in a group as people attune to hearing the verbal cues and pauses of everyone and of course actually listen. Just an observance, I’m decidedly not about trying to convince anyone else that voice > text. 

In my experience, it doesn't. 

Verbal cues and pauses are only the tip of the iceberg. There's also the barking dog, screaming kids, TV in the background, mic-too-close-to-the-mouth heavy breathing, coughing, swallowing, sniffling, belching, throat-clearing, static, feed-back, nose-blowing, horns, sirens, people repeating their same points over and over a little louder each time, and all sorts of words about things I don't really care about because small talk makes me want to stab myself with a spork. 

Voice for sex, text for everything else. 

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Text always. I don’t even have voice turned on. I am usually playing (lol) SL in my living room, on my laptop, with various family members around. People do not want to hear my family, and I don’t want to have to answer a bunch of “who is that, who are you talking to, what are you taking about?” from said family.

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I prefer text.  It leaves no room for mishearing things and it's easier to go back and re-read what was said.

Voice? Haha, no way I'd ever do that.  Nobody will understand me through my funny accent.


Expectation:
Whatever silvery singsong image you may have of me in your head.

Reality:
Some German politician's voice coming out of my pixel mouth.

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I used to be allllll about voice. I think when I started, voice was a fairly new feature in SL and voice was a fairly new feature on the internet in general. It was a novelty, to be able to “talk to people on the computer.” Yes, I was one of those horrible people that judged you if you didn’t use voice.

I think because I use headphones, years of ambient noises just wore me down: dogs barking, gestures, someone just randomly screaming somewhere.

After a few years of it, it went from being a novelty to just being annoying. It started when windows 10 came out and there was a weird bug that made everyone using windows 10 sound like a robot. You always had to turn your volume up or down to hear people, or use Skype because the sound quality was better, but that bug was the last straw and it just ugh. Then one day it just didn’t work at all and I turned the sound completely off.  
 

I turn on the sound when I’m at a club or there’s live music, but for the most part, I’m listening to my own music when I’m in world. I don’t feel like there’s much of a use for it like I did before, I’m a texter anyway and my real life job I talk to people all day with a headset on. I’ll turn my mic on really quickly to curse somebody out though.

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4 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

I form mental images of the people I meet and they are usually based on how they portray themselves in SL - avatar and actions - and the voice shatters that wall for me even when both gender and ethnicity match. And when dialect doesn't match... when the dialect of the person matches some stereotype but I -LACK- the real person i front of me to help shatter that stereotype... it sends my mind in the wrong direction in ways that can be falsely negative or falsely positive...

Yes. Isn't that odd? Or maybe it isn't. I definitely have discovered I have some bias, very stereotypical ones at that, with accents. On the plus side, people with British accents seem more cultured (that's a common one for Americans, which is why so many ads for expensive things are narrated by Brits). My British friends laugh at me when I tell them this. :)

6 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

There's also the barking dog, screaming kids, TV in the background, mic-too-close-to-the-mouth heavy breathing, coughing, swallowing, sniffling, belching, throat-clearing, static, feed-back, nose-blowing, horns, sirens, people repeating their same points over and over a little louder each time, and all sorts of words about things I don't really care about because small talk makes me want to stab myself with a spork. 

Oh gawd, the phlegmy throat clearing! The ramblers! The dogs! :::reaches for the spork:::

When I was in listen mode only (the mic still wasn't working), I was at a group chat and one of the attendees was an adult female avatar but very, very baby girl, complete with pigtails and lollipop and annoying cute animations. When it was her turn to speak I fell over laughing my butt off. Her voice sounded like ten miles of bad road.  She had a heavy east coast (Brooklyn?) accent. She had to be well past 60, a chain smoker raspy and gaspy, and god knows what else. Kinda broke the spell, no? 

I live in fear of accidentally having my mic ON and falling over laughing at such a thing again.

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7 minutes ago, Gregorian Chant said:

I prefer text.  It leaves no room for mishearing things and it's easier to go back and re-read what was said.

Voice? Haha, no way I'd ever do that.  Nobody will understand me through my funny accent.


Expectation:
Whatever silvery singsong image you may have of me in your head.

Reality:
Some German politician's voice coming out of my pixel mouth.

Don't be so sure. :) I'm pretty good with understanding accents, from years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area. A nice German accent might be quite yummy. Now if your voice sounds like you just inhaled helium... never mind. :)

 

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