Earlier today I responded to a blog post with the best intentions(I feel I made Ms. Porter feel worse) and when I read her reponse...well I felt like doo-doo because that's not what I wanted to do. This really is the only site I come and interact with other's in a forum type situation(my work doesn't reguire any computer use either) and I find at time's that typing can be tricky because seeing what I type later in black and white words seems so different than how I felt when I typed it. I'm just looking for advice or trick's(I can be trained!) on how to avoid these kind of pitfalls when responding to discussion's or blogs on this site, because I love this site and the advice that one can get here.

thank-you

Christy

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Comment by Bev Levy on July 16, 2010 at 8:35pm
Christy, I did not see the blog you are referring to but it is great that whether necessary or not that you put this one on. One of the best things about this site is that so many people are well intentioned in what they put up. It makes me smile, informs me, and helps me so often. I know you always seem helpful and encouraging in your responses so I am sure it was OK!
Comment by Tris & Jeanne on July 16, 2010 at 7:35pm
Christy, if you posted with the best intentions, forgive yourself. I agree that many times what I've written sounds of a different tone when I re-read it (usually after it has long been sent.....). If communication in person is over 90 percent non-verbal, it's no wonder it can be tricky to communicate what we truly mean via email sometimes. We can only try our best.
Comment by Gromit, Sparkle, and Doug on July 16, 2010 at 7:08pm
+1 to all the comments from the others. I've been knocking around the on-line world since the '80s (before the WWW!) and even after all these years it's so easy to write something with the best of intentions and have it come out wrong or be misunderstood. I'd bet that we've all done it and most of us will do it again at some point. Be slow to anger, quick to sincerely apologize for a true offense, and all will be well.
Comment by Nicola Porter on July 16, 2010 at 6:51pm
If you feel you said something wrong ( and you didn't) because I was crying, well I was already crying so it wasn't your post honey.
Comment by Nicola Porter on July 16, 2010 at 6:47pm
Christy the post was fine, really. It didn't offend me or make me bad. Nowhere in your post is there anything you should feel uncomfortable with. I was just having a little cry but it wasn't your post at all.
Comment by John Wolff on July 16, 2010 at 5:54pm
It is famously easy to make an ass of yourself, make yourself misunderstood, or stick your foot in your mouth via email and internet posting. There's no body language, facial expressions, voice inflection, none of the immediate feedback found in live conversation. Sarcasm or humor, for instance, are often missed or taken seriously in computerese because the nonverbal tipoffs are missing; that's why smileys were invented. Think like a corgi: they have no tail to wag or hide between their legs, so they have to communicate some other way.

Read what you type with the eyes of your audience.
When things go awry, you can always apologize and then go hug your dog.
Comment by Heather and Ella on July 16, 2010 at 5:38pm
Christy,
You are not alone, in your concern over proper internet etiquette. At my next work place meeting, they will be discussing "email etiquette" for a workplace (they have set company wide guidelines, and are going over them with everyone).
Here are some pointers that deal with emails, but some of the same rules could help you with websites. http://www.emailreplies.com/
One of the main points is to keep it simple and to the point. Try that and see if it helps you feel more comfortable.
Comment by Beth on July 16, 2010 at 5:34pm
Hi Christy. I read your response and thought it was just fine, but I do understand that sometimes we type things and they don't come out sounding like we meant them to sound. I have been guilty of this many times myself, and I have also learned to try to avoid certain topics that I know push my buttons. I know, for example, that people stating opinion as if it were a truth handed down directly from a higher power drives me straight up the wall and I know that nothing I say will help anything except to further inflame the conversation, and because of that I try to stay away from one or two posters and one or two topics.

|As far as cases where you know it's not that your buttons are pushed but more that you want to make sure your caring and concern comes across, using emoticons like smileys or frownies can help. I try to sprinkle in things like "I know other people might have different opinions that work for them, but here is what works for me" and I also try to add my condolences or hopes for good outcome before and after what I say (if appropriate) so the tone sounds like I want it to sound.

That said, I sometimes fail miserably and have been in more than one conversation that ended up being locked down. :-(

Sam's advice is excellent. There will always be those times, though, when someone says something that just hits the other person wrong and feelings are hurt. That is part of the price we all sometimes pay for sharing ourselves with the world.

You are a kind and helpful person, and I'm sure I am not the only one who finds you a valued member of the community here.
Comment by Sam Tsang on July 16, 2010 at 5:07pm
Hi Christy, 8 years ago I had an ego struggle with my colleague, my boss - a 75 year old neurosurgeon, with a set of silver hair and infinite wisdom recite the following to me:

If I speak with the eloquence of men and of angels, but have no love, I become no more than blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the gift of foretelling the future and hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but the very secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute faith which can move mountains, but have no love, I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body to be burned, but have no love, I achieve precisely nothing.

This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance.

Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. It is not touchy. It does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one things that still stands when all else has fallen.


He told me to memorize it and when I start to have white hair of my own, I would understand the rest of the verses in that chapter. He was right... "...When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things..."

1 Corinthians 13

Food for thought
Comment by Jessica on July 16, 2010 at 4:12pm
Hi Christy - I just went back and took a look at the post you are talking about here and it all looked okay to me. Just keep on doing what you're doing!

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