There are two things that can be really hard to “get” from reading what someone else has written: Sarcasm and Intent. I really think that taking a closer look at the manner in which we communicate with others can sometimes alleviate this problem. In the “Transparent Digital Genuine Media Future” Age, we all get a turn at the microphone to say whatever we want whenever we want to everyone.
Who do you want to be when it’s your turn?
The choices we make in how we communicate with others is going to dictate to a large extent who we wind up associating with, both in the physical world and the virtual world. Have opinions, be passionate, spark debates, do what you please, but do so with an awareness of how you may be perceived. Sometimes it strikes me that some people may think that “not caring what anyone thinks” because an idea or value is above scrutiny from people who don’t really understand it. I would politely and respectfully point out that you might want to think for a second about whether you’re actually making your point in what you’re trying to say. I find that “leaping before you look” when the words are sitting right in front you and require the physical press of a button to publish strikes me as somewhat irresponsible.
I’m not saying you should be perfect; goodness knows I’m not, but I do put thought into the things I tweet, post and comment about. I have deleted many a thing that I wanted to say out of impulse, and I’ve held my tongue when I wanted to use it to whip somebody who either offended me or someone I care about. I know enough about myself to hold back because it would paint an inaccurate picture of who I am. I’m not the guy who “puts people in their place” in a face to face setting, so why would I want to assume that role online? Because it’s not real? Because it won’t carry the same consequences? In my mind, neither of those are valid excuses. I can’t control the perceptions of others, but what I can control is my delivery of the message – I want to be sure that my intention is as clear as possible, even when I’m being snarky or jokey. In the end, it’s just a matter of clearly communicating in a space where doing so is key.
It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am; the least I can do for you (and myself) is make my intentions and voice match my true personality. If you take the time to do the same, you can have more confidence that your intended message will be received.