We are a few days into Spring and here in South Central Pennsylvania……it still doesn’t quite feel like it. I was reminded of that last night when watching “Rise of the Guardians” with the kids. When the Easter Bunny mentioned how he had ill feelings toward Jack Frost because he made it snow and ruined his Easter Egg Hunt one year. It was a good movie and I love spending time with the kids. Even though my oldest was working close shift at McDonald’s 😦
Anyway, yesterday made me realize or better understand the power of the word, or maybe the lack of words. I don’t know. Ok, let’s start here. A friend of mine on Facebook, posted something which got a lot of comments. And tagged a mutual friend in one of the comments and typed a smiley face after it. I LIKED the comment, thinking this is all fun and games. Well, that person took it wrong and got upset. I’m sure that the original intent was not to upset no one and by me LIKIing it was certainly not my intent to feed it. So, I sent this person a private message, cause, well, I was concerned….I don’t like seeing anyone upset over something like this. And I know a lot of people reading this are like, well it’s their fault for taking it so personal. But let me assure you, its a different story when its you and not someone else. Just pointing that out. Anyway the whole thing got settled and to find out the friend who made the original post also private messaged this person too. So its all good.
But let’s shed some light on words. Text messages, emails or social media posts. They have no character as far as hearing emotion. But they do tend to have emotion set to them depending on what mood the person reading it is in. Sound familar or sound strange? We are all guilty and all been there. Something as simple as a respond text message of “ok” can be misinterrupted. It can be “ok” or “OK” or “K” but either way depending on the mood of the receiver it can come across as a pleasant gesture or a sarcastic come back. Crazy? think about it.
Also, a facebook user has had a less than perfect day at work. They come home and post something colorful such as….”Some people need to start taking their meds”. While most people who see this would figure that it has nothing to do with them and so and so has had a bad experience today with someone, some of the people seeing it would automatically figure it was about them and so and so is being cryptic. Especially if they are acquainted, friends, co workers or family in real life.
I will give a real life example and the trouble it caused in a person’s real life and the extreme situation that is still going on.
A woman who works in the medical field. We will call her, Sally. Sally had a good day at work until the last patient. The last patient was late for their appointment and once there had plenty of complications to add to the situation. The patient had questions about a previous bill and a lot of bashing about the new doctor. It all and all made the end of the day on a bad note and a lot of negitivity due to this last situation.
Sally goes home and goes on Facebook and posts “Some people would live a happier life if they tried to be more positive. Glass half full or Glass half empty”
Nothing wrong with that. Right? Well, Sally’s sister, we will call her Wendy, who is on Sally’s Facebook, sees what Sally has posted. Wendy, who has just vented to their father about something relating to Sally, figures somehow it got back to Sally what she had said. Classic case of guilty conscience. Wendy accuses Sally of being cryptic and deletes Sally from her facebook and blocks her, following it up with a long email letter stating why she has deleted Sally. Now Sally texts messages their father, who claims to never have received the text message, and this has not been the first time the father has claimed this with Sally. So Sally gets mad at the father figuring he’s just making up stories.
So, and there is other prior information and other situations about these three, that lead up to this explosion. But all in all, Wendy talks to their father still, the father and Wendy are both mad at Sally, Sally talks to no one and is hurt because she has no idea why her sister and father are upset with her. And it is a very impersonal situation of the power of the written word and how the mood of the person reading it will take it or respond. My suggestion with this….pick up the phone. Cause this started with Sally having a bad end to the day, posting on facebook and her sister basically making it about her even though it wasn’t and the ironic thing no one in that family believing the other. Trust issues started this but you get me drift. As of today, it;s been a year and the three, two sisters and a father….still don’t all get along.
This situation is an extreme. But the point is simple, Facebook posts are just that posts. Out of how many people on your facebook (average person has 150 facebook friends) what are the odds that this person’s post was directed towards you? Going out on a limb here, I would say 1 and 150. Unless that person has more friends in that case it would be higher. and text messages. They are fine if you are telling asking your spouse if they can pick up milk on their way home from work instead of calling and interrupting them at work. Basically, any situation that doesn’t require immediate attention. But when you can not pick up the phone and rely entirely on texting, something is no right. And the same with emails. These are all good communication vehicles but sometimes people have to use their common sense about when to actually pick up the phone.
But all aside, this world is big with lots of people in it..but yet its smaller than it ever was. You can call someone easier across the country as quick and cheap as calling the person across the street. You can email anyone in the world for nothing. You can text someone in another country for cents. Heck you can call them for less than you think. The internet, social media and smart phones has drawn us all closer. But keep one thing in mind, sometimes you have to be alittle more proactive and sensitive.
You can never tell how someone else is going to interpret it. You have no idea what has just happened in someone else’s life. Upon receiving your message, text or seeing your post, you have no idea what may have just happened to another person. For instance, seeing a post that someone has written on facebook…..”People should be more appreciative of what they have. Some people really need to get a clue” The person who posted it was referring to a friend venting about how their husband was such an idiot and he never does anything unless she reminds him a thousand times. When in fact, her husband does a lot for her and never forgets the little things such getting her gifts that she actually wants because he was listening and being observant for ever holiday but needs reminded of a few things like calling to schedule an oil change. But she was complaining about her husband who appears to do everything for her when most woman have a husband how forgets anniversaries, birthday or buys them the least amount. So they go home and post this…..”People should be more appreciative of what they have. Some people really need to get a clue” and someone else reads it who, just got their mail and found out they are 2 months behind on their mortgage and prior to that was told their hours at work were being cut back. Now this is an extreme, but you get where I am going.
and with all that said and I honestly hope you didn’t fall asleep.. I did see a show this morning on the making and behind the scenes of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I remember seeing that movie with my friends at least 4 times. Some of the things they brought up, like the first time part of the movie was still going on while the ending credits were running. You know the scene where Dean of Students Ed Roonie was walking and got on the bus. How that was the first time it was done and how it would change movies. And I remember seeing it thinking, this movie will be around for a long time. Never did I think, my own kids would watch it and think it was great too.
On another note, I have a few items on eBay ending today.