Today’s Daily Post in a Nutshell: Locked and Sealed, is locked and sealed. And — how ironic — was hit with the old “where did it go” bug. But, it’s back up. Sing hallelujah. Till the next time.
Can you keep a secret?
Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans when you should have stayed mum?
Not that I can recall.
Note: Your secret is probably safe with me because I will forget it almost as soon as you tell me.
Well, I’m glad that’s out of the way because I wanted to talk about communicating on the Internet and how ridiculously easy it is to misunderstand each other.
FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE, BOSS
This is the big problem with electronic communication. I suppose it’s a problem with any communication that isn’t face-to-face. People probably misunderstood each other’s handwritten letters too.
:-D I believe the :-) was invented entirely to convey that what you wrote was not meant negatively :-(
I use emoticons liberally, though they are considered bad English (they aren’t English) and childish. Children are good at conveying feelings, so I’m not averse to being childish if it improves communications a little.
I tend to be brusque. Short. I try to be witty, but it doesn’t always come across that way. My attempts to be “cute” can easily be misread as snide, snippy, and dismissive. So:
1) If I’m being snide, snippy, or dismissive, you’ll know it. I’m not that subtle. Really.
2) My wrists hurt. My typing is getting worse. Of the emerging issues caused by pain in wrists, the most malignant are missing words. Not misspelled or otherwise mangled. Words that aren’t there at all. Particularly unfortunate when the missing word is “not” — exactly reversing the meaning of a thought yet appearing grammatical.
Lacking fonts that clearly express sarcasm or irony — both of which are better expressed by tone of voice, body language, and facial expression — maybe we (me) should consider alternate forms. This is difficult since I have always tended to be sarcastic. (I used to be worse, but I’m in recovery.) That kind of wit (?) doesn’t translate well in text. Not yet, anyhow and until it does, I’m considering humor less likely to be misread.
The second solution isn’t a solution, but might help. Before you decide you’ve been insulted, dismissed, treated with scorn, etc., check with the comment’s originator. Make sure what you know is what was meant. That it wasn’t a complex typo, or a failed joke.
It’s easy to read everything as a form of criticism. I’ve seen people slide into this by degrees until they successfully misinterpret everything. You need some toughness to live in the virtual world. You also need patience, in the sense of not jumping to conclusions. Finally, you have to remember you are not the center of everyone’s world.
One of my many problems with the whiners, complainers, oh woe is me-ers is they have sunk so deep into their own “issues,” they forget other people have lives. People can be brusque — dismissive — and it hasn’t got anything to do with you. They are responding to something going on in their world to which you are not privy.
Usually, you will never know what is or was going on unless they choose to tell you. Because many of us like to keep our private things private. I deal with intimate issues intimately, face-to-face. Or telephone-to-telephone. Not on my blog.
PRIVACY IS A GOOD THING
Which brings me to the final point.
Bloggers can easily contact each other privately. If you have a bone to pick with someone — or think you do — try email. Directly. To the individual. Even if your position is righteous and your cause is just, public isn’t the best place to resolve a dispute.
Why not? Because it invites strangers to jump in — which won’t help anyone fix anything. Because once you’ve publicly insulted someone or hurt their feelings, they may be disinclined to forgive you. Ever.
And finally, because squabbling about personal stuff online is tacky. Totally teenage, very Facebook, and not classy at all.