Long conversations broken up with laughter is one of my favorite ways to communicate.
I’ve been shorter on words in general with people because I’m spending a lot more time at work writing lately. Write write write and my brain melts, which has pushed me to find other and shorter ways to communicate with the people around me. Primarily by text messaging which is easy enough one would think— but a message or three lately has made me question if what I’m typing is what I really mean to say.
Have you ever read and re-read a message before you hit send and thought there is zero way that can be read any other way than the way you meant it? Well, let me tell you — even the most innocuous messages can be misconstrued. Lesson learned on a whole new level there, people.
Hell, we live in a world where PERIODS AT THE END OF SENTENCES have emotion attached to them now. Mind blown, right? When someone puts a period at the end of a text message, how do you feel about that? Confused, angry, frustrated, or hurt? All because someone took the time to tap a screen one or two more times. They MUST feel very strongly about that thing they just said. Seriously, it’s a punctuation mark. Let’s stop reading into it.
OMFG, even emojis can be misconstrued. Have you misconstrued an emoji someone’s sent to you? Have you looked at the actual title of some emoji’s people use? There’s one in Slack that says it’s ::joy::. It’s a crying laughing face. It hasn’t a thing to do with joy when people use it. They’re ROFLing not crying with joy…right?
So how do we communicate with people when context truly matters? Face to face? Too shy. A longer letter with every caveat ever? MMmmmm, how about no? In 140 characters? Not enough room. Text rather than email, Snapchat rather than texting, Slack (giphy, FTW) vs email and on it goes.
We’re constantly trying to find faster and better ways to communicate. Maybe we should all take a deep breath and slow down a bit. Conversations are meant to take a while, to be continued, to have some breathing room in which we can say what we’re truly thinking and to have someone assume we mean the best by using the words we’ve chosen.
I rant on all of this for a variety of reasons — not just to make you laugh, though that’s good reason. No, I’m trying to figure out how to say what I want to say to someone and I’m putting A LOT of thought into this — have re-read it a million times and I swear every time I read it — I question every single word I’m using. Probably because I’m writing too much and realize there are 1,025,109.8 words (let’s not even talk about how the fuck is there a .8th of a word?) in the world.
Perhaps we should all stick with Snapchat filters and RBF to communicate those all important things online and take the rest back to real life conversations and give our fingers a rest.