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.