Behind the Screen: The art of miscommunication

Behind the Screen
Miscommunication seem has become quite an art these days with the advent of the internet.

Instead of “communicating” we are constantly being bombarded with so much social media that we end up shutting off people around us.

When was the last time you picked up a phone to talk to someone?

Everything we do is via email, text, twitter, facebook and the list goes on.

There are so many things that could be avoided if only we took the time to speak one on one with each other.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten stressed out over an email and thought “Hmm what did they mean? are they mad or are they being sarcastic?”

And so that’s what made me feel like writing this particular post.

Even as I write this post, I realize that it can be read a million different ways. If you’re in a good mood while reading it then you’ll think I’m really happy as I write this. If you’re having a bad day you might feel like I’m berating and lecturing you about how bad the internet is 🙂

So how do we balance it out?

I guess the first thing is to take a deep breath and figure out if you’re just over-reacting.

Here is a recent example:

Me: My boss just scheduled me to work and I told her I can’t come in on that day.

My Husband: What did she say back?

Me: (In a dramatic tone of voice)  OK fine.

My Husband: Did she say it to you like that?

Me: No she wrote it in an email. I think she’s mad. Maybe I should go in anyway. Oh man, you think she’s going to fire me?

My Husband: You know she’s busy, she doesn’t have time to write out a long explanation. She’s fine.

Me: Yeah you’re right..(I feel like such a drama queen).

Obviously I freak out a little too much.

What are your thoughts? Do you think all this social media leaves us less “sociable?” Or are you able to read things as they are?

Want to read more posts like this? Click on Behind the Screen for the full collection.

**keep reading below if you’d like to know my workout progress**

Things are a little better this week. I admit I’m still off to a rough start. In my ideal world I would have a full time nanny who would take care of the kids whenever I wanted to head to the gym when my husband is working, but I’m not made of money 🙂 So here is how it went.

Tue: I honestly have no recollection
Wed: 20 min walk
Thu: nothing
Fri: 20 min walk
Sat: 30 min elliptical
Sun: 12 minute mile on the treadmill followed by weights targeting my arm muscles.
Mon: Too sore to move 🙂

Hopefully this is the beginning of a great week! How are you ladies doing?

This article has 11 comments

  1. Mariam Sobh

    lol Jodi your sister is funny. I kind of like the idea that she doesn’t care hehe 🙂 That’s a free spirit!
    But yeah you’re right we shouldn’t take thing too seriously.

  2. Jodi

    Still a good topic though Mariam! lol Some great thoughts here too.
    I understand what you mean actually. I just don’t try to take things too seriously. My sister always emails in all caps and at first I thought she was always mad at me for some reason! lol I never said anything until a long time and when I told her she still uses all caps and it makes no difference to her! I realize that not everyone knows on line etiquette and some could care less….like my sister! lol She is just trying to get one thought across and she assumes I understand any way. 🙂

  3. Fatin

    As great is the technology of communication theses days, i think still need the human touch, sometime it is time to pick up the phone and talk especially when thing might be misunderstood.

  4. Mariam Sobh

    Perhaps I should explain more in the Friday video message this week hehe.. 🙂 It’s turning out to be hard to write out lool.

  5. Mariam Sobh

    I think that there is a little bit of miscommunication on this post 🙂 lol.
    What I was trying to focus on was the fact that it is easy to read things and form opinions on the writer’s intention that could be way off target. For example I always hear about not writing in CAPS because people will assume you’re shouting at them.
    So my question is, how do you keep from reading things and over-reacting about the writer’s intention?

  6. Naziehah

    What a great topic! I think there’s 2 ways of looking at it.
    Some people are better at communicating online and some are better offline. If you have always been rather sociable and good with people, the social media might become a new challenge to you. As now you need to adjust your communication style to suit the cyberspace. But if you come from a rather socially-shy background, then the internet is a great social enabler, imho.

    For me personally, I love the immediate and quick response the social media provides me. But I also need the warmth of actual human communication. The trick is finding the right balance I think.

  7. Jodi

    P.S. I meant to add that perhaps a smiley face after her “OK fine” would have made you feel more at ease but I guess in the business world it would have been less professional? In personal emails I admit that they do help in conveying some emotion, still….is it enough? I’m thankful for the computer age because it brings me closer to those I can’t see or talk to readily in person but in the process there is a great sense of loss also.

  8. Jodi

    I think much can be judged wrongly over the Internet no matter what source or delivery method you use. It can be awful on both sides. All of this electronic age just wipes out our human intuition because we can’t see the person’s face or body language to guide us. We also tend to become faceless and emotionless as we think and do whatever we feel like behind the computer wall almost anonymously. People say and do what they would never say or do in person for fear of rejection or offending. So we lose a lot both ways. Snail mail letters, phone calls and in person meetings are not perfect but they offer a lot more than electronic methods can because of the emotion involved. It can be relayed better non-electronically it seems. When I was a kid I had many world-wide pen friends who wrote by missive/letters/snail mail and it was lovely anticipating their news and stationary or enclosed little gifts! I wish that would come back in style but with computers so much ‘easier’ I don’t think it ever fully will. Yes, we are missing out on a lot because nowadays you don’t ever have to leave your house even because even food comes to your door with a click of the mouse! There’s a great sadness in this to me because as humans we need to interact. Sorry this is so long but it’s a pet peeve of mines it seems. 🙂

  9. safia

    I think miscommunication happens regardless of internet or face to face. The difference is the etiquette. People think because it is the internet, you are not held accountable for someone else’s feelings. For example, twitter, buzz, even facebook, you can just say 1 line to a person, instead of having a back and forth conversation, because it is easier. We don’t respond back by saying, okay thank you, have a great day like we would over the phone. Even through emails, we should still say “dear so and so” and “thank you” and show some sort of personality.

  10. Mariam Sobh

    Caraboska I agree that you can be open and honest, but the problem lies in the fact that things can always be read opposite to what you intended. So I guess I’m wondering how we on the reader side can avoid misjudging someone’s writing because of our own personal bias. 🙂

  11. caraboska

    I think it is possible to communicate effectively online, but one has to be aware that certain things cannot be seen that would be in in-person communication, so you have to find ways to convey those elements in writing. I think that it can be done, especially if one has a personal commitment to honest, open communication.

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