Lessons: Social Interaction

19 August 2013

This week I survived a big lesson in life.  Think before you say something especially in social interaction.  Even if it's a tease, a joke, or something light hearted, it can be misconstrued.

I got myself a little bit in a jam with someone I care about which was my niece(I've personally apologized for this because that's the right thing to do).  I made several petty comments about things that were on her wall as well as a statement on my own wall about youth.

This little incident as I call it made me realize that whatever message we are trying to convey through "commenting" shouldn't be posted with some consideration.  With so many social media outlets from twitter, IG, LinkedIN, FB, google +, it's so easy to just type and post.

Some common mistakes that we often make through this text styled form of communication is that we can neither hear the tone of the "speaker" or see his/her body language when someone is commenting on a post or on someone's wall.  It's so easy for any reader to view things as sarcastic when you certain aren't trying to be.  It's easy to see criticism when you are not remotely trying to criticize.    Humor can be lost at times.

Another part is interacting with strangers or what I call friends of friends.   We've all been there when we read a post by a friend who happens to have a few comments about their remarks.  Without even thinking, we easily comment on someone else's comment.   Unfortunately sometimes it comes off as a  criticism of a comment that is attacking a stranger who just happens to be apart of that chain of comments.   Your friend is caught in the cross fires because they now have 2 friends who have differing views.  And it can get heated.   Because of how easy it is comment and respond to people's posts, strangers can suddenly find themselves in hot water.  Can you imagine how complicated life can get in the Social World?  Whenever possible, try to pause before defending your view with a stranger.  It really can't be resolved and can lead to a big mess.

Remember that each of us have our own language style.  For me, when someone calls me a vulgar name, I would take offense, however, if someone is doing it in jest, it might be a term of affection.   If someone wrote on my wall, "hey gangster", I wouldn't be so happy.  But that could be a terminology that others find humorous and wouldn't think twice about it.

To put things in context, if I met someone in college, perhaps they would know there is a group of us that call each other "hon".  A term of affection, not a degrading term.  However, if someone didn't know me well enough or if they were not apart of this small circle, they might misinterpret the use of "hon" as condescending.    It happens!

To reiterate a few things

It's hard to read tone or body language in a post.

Humor might be lost at times on "post comments".

Criticizing a friend's friend who you do not know can get you into hot waters.

We all have different language styles so be aware of this.

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1 comment:

Laurie Garza said...

Great advice Nancy.So important to think before texting (typing, responding, etc) Sharing this.

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