In this wonderfully fabulous technologically advanced world, we are lucky to enjoy spending time chatting with people around the globe via email, text, online boards, and chat forums. We are truly fortunate to share ideas and spend time with some very interesting people.
Some people are very interesting indeed. Meet my four friends below.
I’m expecting that by the time you’ve finished reading those comics, you’re wondering why the lady with the walking stick hasn’t beat the other woman over the head with it. If you’re not, you have the patience of a saint and you’re a better person than I am.
The Embellisher: She (I’m using ‘she’ to save myself some keystrokes) will add words to what you’ve said. She will put words in your mouth that you never uttered and likely never thought of.
The Interchanger: She will change what you said, exchanging one word for another and accuse you of miscommunication and/or misrepresentation despite that she is the one who edited what you said.
The Negative-Nelly: She is combative, seeing personal offense where there is none. She has a negative outlook about everyone and everything, and always assumes the worst. Her hyper-active imagination runs wild with things never said.
The Assuming-Extrapolator: Instead of taking your words at face value, they will distort them, and extract meanings and intentions you never had. They will attempt to put words in your mouth that you never uttered. All the while pointing a finger at you as if you are the evil culprit for having offended them, while they themselves are the author of what offends them. Which causes me to think that if that’s the case, is it a subconscious way of self-criticizing? (forget that, I’m not their shrink and don’t want to be hahahaha)
The Schizophrenic: Her comic isn’t featured above, but is rather a blend of 2 or more traits featured. She will drive you insane and will cause you to google hit-men and to check your bank account to see if you can afford one. If you have to suffer a conversation with someone that suffers 2 or more of of the characteristics above, you have my condolences.
I have both witnessed these situations, and suffered these situations. Every time, it leaves me shaking my head in wonder at the offender. I’m sure many have also experienced it in day to day life, face to face with people. But on the web, it’s even MORE frustrating. Let me explain.
I’ve discussed this previously before on my Facebook when I’ve seen spats occur in forums. There are certain communication factors missing when one is relying entirely upon the written word. Such as: facial expression, tone of voice, inflections, hand gestures. These affect the words we utter. THEN add to that the variables that affect styles of speech and communication such as: age, gender, education, culture, location on the globe. Last but not least, in some cases English is a second language for some, so then things are lost in translation.
Debates. Yup. That’s a scary word for some folks. Please be reminded what a debate is by referring to this Note I shared on my profile on Facebook. Debates are NOT personal. They are an exchange of ideas. That’s it. If you’re making it personal, that’s YOUR problem. Learn the art of “Agreeing to Disagree” in an amicable fashion like an adult. Save the snarky sarcasm and insults, it only makes you look childish. Debate-Agree to Disagree.
So here’s a suggestion before you get your knickers in a twist over nothing.
Or two, or more…
Take words at their face value: Do NOT edit or re-author. Read them as they are written. If need be, get a dictionary. Do NOT paraphrase!! Not all words are created equal which is why we have so many! Your paraphrasing is not likely to be what they meant. Read them as they are written. I can’t stress this enough.
When in doubt, ask a question: if you do not understand, then ask a question. Please don’t be general with “explain!”. Get specific. Ask about the part you do not understand. OR say “what do you mean when you said…?”
Do NOT assume: I shouldn’t need to remind you, but I will. When you ‘Assume”, you will make an ASS out of U in front of ME.
Stop Imagining things: Save your imagination for art class. You don’t need it to read conversations in chat-forums. It will only get you in trouble.
Last but not least….
If you’re in a negative frame of mind – STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!!
Now. For the last time.
The Sky is BLUE. Just plain old regular blue. That’s it. That’s all. I don’t man turquoise, or periwinkle. I didn’t mean anything by it. I haven’t inferred anything because quite honestly, I hadn’t thought beyond that – that the sky is blue. I am not a meteorologist predicting the weather and providing a future forecast. I am not suggesting that you’re stupid and didn’t know that already. I haven’t been rude yet, but I can be if you keep making assumptions and putting words in my mouth.