Misunderstanding the Written Word



“So?” Such a simplistic, concise question. It invites the other party to explain their previous comments or to continue with their dialogue. Upon hearing this word one normally takes the tone of the speaker into consideration along with body language should they be face-to-face. But, in written form, such as, texting, emailing, on Facebook or other social network settings, the emotion of the writer cannot and should not be inferred. The only exception would be if there were emoticons or other sentences which expressly state a specific intent.

Take it at face value. Do not try to add your emotions to the written word. Thinking that the question “So?” is somehow snarky or argumentative only goes to show how insecure the thinker is. Approach the question as if in an everyday conversation without malice and answer it as such.

I have seen way too many posting wars due to one or both parties placing emotion on questions or statements that simply was not there or the intent of the posting party. Stop doing that. Why assume that every time you are asked a question that you are being challenged in some way? Some folks are not as wordy or well-spoken as you and have difficulty expressing themselves with the written word. Let it go. Respond in a simple and what you think is a polite manner and leave it be.

And, for goodness sakes do not tell the other person that you thought your original message was clear. Obviously, it was not for the person asking the question. Why pick a fight when one was not being initiated? None of us are mind readers. Your thought process may have been going in an entirely different direction than the other person.

So much discord could be avoided if we tried to be nice to one another.



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