Oh be careful little fingers, what you type…

So this last week has been a brutal one for me — it wasn’t supposed to be.

Jerry had the entire week off from work, and we had grand plans of filling our week with gardening, coffeeshop frequenting, obscure errand-running, etc.  And, some of that got accomplished (garden update: my tomatoes LIVE!). Alas, most of it did not.  Why?

I got involved in a nasty online debacle that has separated (maybe irreparably?) friends of mine, who I thought were pretty dear.  Oh, the power of email!  While it can be a lifesaver in terms of providing a written record and nearly-instant communication, it can also inspire such viciousness in false bravado.  There were words and ideas spoken this week over electronic communication that I know for a FACT would never have been spoken face-to-face.  And there’s the rub.

Right now I’m left feeling like I’m in the midst of a really bad breakup, and I’m trying my best to have some perspective on what exactly happened, and why.  I keep coming back to the communication adage I impart to my students (each term!) that it isn’t always WHAT you say to someone that’s so important, but HOW you say it.

It’s not that I want everyone to agree with me, or even always understand things from my perspective — but is it too unrealistic to consider the emotional impact of your message and the perception of the audience?  As evidenced from the flame war I witnessed this week, apparently not everyone has the same communicative priorities as I.

2 comments on “Oh be careful little fingers, what you type…

  1. Suzy on said:

    Aw. That really sucks, chick. I’m so sorry. I agree with you about the difference in tone in an online format. You just never know how someone will READ your words and sometimes, even when you don’t intend it, someone gets hurt. I hope that your someone that hurt you knows that they did and apologizes. Bantering words shouldn’t involve swordplay.

  2. I’m really sorry it’s been such a bad week for you. I guess this proves that the pen (or keyboard) really is mightier than the sword. Just know that you’re still a friend of ours!

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