20060709

Communication Breakdown

As diffusion of information has increased by leaps and bounds, people may have begun to take it for granted.

The trouble with this is it's possible people begin to believe their innermost thoughts and fears and ideals are readily known and apparent and that, in turn, gives people clearance to feel slighted when someone doesn't know something random about them, like red shoe laces offend them.

I will make this more clear using a classic example of young male interaction: The Yo' Momma joke.

The Yo' Momma joke is a classic excercise in quick wit, hyperbole and of course, insult. It's purpose is usally good natured ribbing and hoping to elicit laughter from friends.

Every so often, you would run across the guy who's mother had died. Usually, he would say "Yo, that's not cool yo, my momma dead." and it would illicit grim sighs and head shaking from the crowd and apology from the guy who "went there."

These days, things are different. People will get upset and stay upset and think "How could anyone say such a thing?!" but they won't communicate. They won't let anyone know how they feel.

People. Aren't. Psychic.

Naturally, the "blog-o-sphere" has had an impact on this perception.

Yet, no one should be expected to sift through gigabytes of blog entries trying to crack the code and figure out what is an alegory about them. If you're upset with someone, let that someone know as soon as you can. Why? Because writing a cryptic, college level essay on why someone pisses you off and publishing it so everyone else except the person you are cross with can read it doesn't help anything.

I will admit, I've been guilty of the above complaint. It's true. However, when I grew as a person, I began to realize how useless it really was and how badly it can hurt a group of people who would read my writing to throw out random angry text and hope it sticks to the right person. Often times, it will stick to several people who aren't even at fault, and there you have it: damage done to people who had no intention of damaging.

This sort of emotional splash damage might occur often enough in internet culture that it's entirely possible people who use the internet may be made less happy by their using it.

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