Thursday, August 8, 2013

Miscommunication Online

Am I the only one who has a hard time interpreting what someone has said online via, a tweet, facebook post, blog post or a post on a forum. Sometimes I read a comment and think to myself.. wow that's mean or that was rude, but many times its not meant that way, it's just the way I read it. I mean sarcasm or jokes are tough to convey with just written words. Many people can read the exact same sentence or comment and interpret it many different ways. I try not to let what I read from some folks hurt me or effect me negatively but sometimes it does. If I'm a good friend with them I'll let them know that it bothered me I will respond with "what did you mean by that" or "I hope you didn't mean the way that sounded".

I also started to re-read my tweets, posts and blogs to see if they could be interpreted any other way. As some folks have reacted negatively to things that I have said/posted. When I write blog posts I'll go back several times to just make sure you can't misinterpret what I'm saying for anything other then the way it was intended.. of course that doesn't always happen. I guess there really is no way around it. I've had a few miscommunications via the internet that have lead to a fair amount of hurt feelings and weakening of friendship bonds.  But I guess you have to take the good, the internet can do with the bad.


  1. I worry about it quite a lot. It's why I use emoticons a lot despite them being somewhat despised. I worry that if I don't, people might misinterpret when I'm joking. It's easier to be misunderstood online but it's not entirely impossible to be misunderstood in person, either.

    I try to make fewer assumptions than I used to. I try to sit back and think "could this actually be interpreted more than one way?" But humanity is a tough job. An ongoing work in progress.

  2. Humor, sarcasm, and irony can all be very hard to convey in a post, or tweet. If you have a snarky sensibility (like me), it's easy for intent to be misread, which is why I use a lot of emoticons if I think something can be misinterpreted.

    Some people like to flame-bait, which, IMO, is about the lowest form of online attention seeking.

    One situation that really bugs me, is when you have a conversation with someone, and it later shows up in an angry FB post, tweet, or blog, where your words, or actions, have been taken out of context, spun into the worst possible light, and used by the poster to seek validation, or justification, for their own point of view (which is often very different than what was said in the original conversation.)

    In those cases the poster is not only being clearly disingenuous, but acting out in a highly passive-aggressive, and abusive way, that makes you wonder about their motivation, and the nature of your relationship in general.