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Re: On Online Communication

by jepri (Parson)
on Apr 19, 2001 at 06:38 UTC ( #73728=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to On Online Communication

Many years ago I had someone on the net warn me:

Not to attribute to malice that which can be explained by thoughtlessness

Actually, the original I heard had a diferent word in place of "thoughtlessness" but you get the idea. It's worked pretty well for me, although it has left me with the impression that about half the net is... thoughtless.

It should probably also be modified to read "thoughtless, tired, irritable, not enough coffee, too much coffee, under pressure, or simply suffering a momentary loss of the sense of humour", but I feel that would take something away from the original quote.

I didn't believe in evil until I dated it.

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Re: Re: On Online Communication
by idnopheq (Chaplain) on Apr 19, 2001 at 07:48 UTC
    There is one critical aspect to on-line communication which many people misinterperate - emotion.

    Emotion is a difficult thing to convey via *any* written word. You start to delve into connotation. For instance, see (I think) Santa Barbara's ban on the word 'minority'.

    Unless you craft your on-line speach ~very~ carefully, and the person(s) receiving the message follow(s) your policy, your message can be misinterpreted. REMEMBER - everyone is a method actor! Most will bring their own baggage into your message. Tech folks, Monks included, tend to see email and on-line communications as generally void of emotion unless *OBVIOUSLY* stated.

    Beware of the workplace!!! Non-tech people work there, too. I received a negative performance apprasial (only negative one in four years) because my emails were misinterpreted as arrogant and rude. The emails offered to me by me were concise, writen w/o emotion, and offered direction. They were, in my mind, good workplace emails. They were deviod of amything anyone could misconstrue as hurtful or insensitive or abusive. Oh well...

    I propose a tag at the top of on-line communication, like 'emote on' and 'emote off'.

    As Dennis Miller says, "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong.".

    I miss the days of yore where '~', '*', CAPS, and other keyboard gymnastics could handle the load, and everyone agreed on a system. Too few people ever grew up on net news (Net::NNTP for the uninitiated).

    Apply yourself to new problems without preparation, develop confidence in your ability to to meet situations as they arrise.

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