This is an issue that is really bothering me this week. It’s always made me shake my head or roll my eyes when someone is going a little bonkers about how someone said something ‘out of order’ over text to a vague social media update that is perfectly timed with something someone did to upset someone else.
Yes, I understand that it’s seemingly easier to hide behind your phone or your computer and say what you really think is on your mind, but perhaps the reason you’re feeling so brave is because you’re not faced with facial expressions, tone of voice, gesture or body language. And in turn, the person on the receiving end of your blast of anger is in the same boat, and without these clarifying cues, we then “fill in the blanks” with our worries and assumptions.
I’m guilty of sending an email this week on a personal matter because I felt that I could get my thoughts across more thoroughly if my emotions weren’t clouding the point. I’m felt more confident in expressing my wishes that way, and was somewhat bolder behind an email, but it’s like hiding, isn’t it?
Keyboard warriors are too quick to tap away angrily about something that’s bothering them that much they take to their screens to vent to a world of other faceless screens without thinking about anything but how upset they are, and firmly believing that they’re immune to any consequence because of some ‘freedom of speech’ or whatever they honestly think is an acceptable excuse for sometimes plain disgusting behaviour.
All of this, regardless of the level on which it is played out, can result in unnecessary upset and ill feeling. But why are we so afraid to pick up the phone, or even better, talk to someone face to face?
I type this following a silly error made via a miscommunication over email which didn’t adversely affect anyone really and it was quickly resolved by me picking up the phone to talk to this person. But it prompted me to ask this question, and consider how easily it can go from this simple mistake to some serious errors in judgement, which leads to bad blood all over the damn place.
I’ve known some wonderful friendships fall apart over these misunderstandings. Hurtful actions can been taken out of spite and harsh words expressed, that can’t be taken back, all because of a knee-jerk reaction to something ultimately very minor and easily resolved.
Some say that it can be beneficial, as it can bring out a side to people that we wouldn’t otherwise know about. But either way, things will never be the same in that relationship. Not only because some hurtful words can be exchanged, but we then have those messages – in writing – to keep! Then we read and re-read and over think it that hurt and pain just buries deeper and deeper into you and draws upon insecurities and heartache and it’s potentially very harmful.
An enormous fall out could be completely defused just by being in each other’s company. Imagine if you tried that in the first place, before you just sent a barrage of messages!? If you’d asked for an explanation to something and seen in someone’s physical reaction how upset they were that you’d think that way of them, or if you’d just call up and say ‘Hi’ to someone instead of staring at those two blue ticks on Whatsapp and obsessing over why they’ve read it but haven’t replied before you vow never to contact them again if they can’t be bothered to even acknowledge your message.
It’s madness really – if you think about it. Just craziness; plain and simple. Imagine if you were to witness your irrational thoughts and feelings acted out in someone else – you’d think they’d lost the plot!
I’m off to pick up the phone to someone I have been thinking is upset with me for some reason, although he’s probably not at all and I’m sure there will be some explanation to why he messages everyone else back, but not me…