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A Different Person

Daily Prompt: It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World – How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

First off, let’s rephrase the first question.

“Do you communicate at all in person?”

No. No I don’t.

Well, OK, obviously that’s not strictly true. I couldn’t function in today’s rough-and-tumble world without saying a word. I communicate fine at work, but I’ve known many of those people for years. I’ve worked there for nine and a half years and I’ve never had a day off sick – that’s entirely irrelevant, but I’m very proud of the fact :-).

Put me in a social situation and… nothing. If I know the people, I generally try to ignore them, close my body language and let other people talk. Then I get upset when they ignore me back. Go figure. I’m my own worst enemy.

Drali Ninja

I sneak unseen into a room of “new” people.

If it’s a group of “new” people, I ninja my way in at the back of the room and “people watch” – I won’t say anything, other than answer questions, until I’ve “sized them up” a bit.

And small talk – what’s up with that?

“Goodness, it’s raining again.” Yes, I can see that.

“How about the game last night! Eh?” What? What game? Are they talking about football? I just don’t know.

“How are you today?” You don’t really want to know, do you? Maybe I’ll take you by surprise and bang on about all my troubles.

Text-wise, I write texts in complete sentences (usually) with proper punctuation intact. “Text-speak”? Have you ever tried actually texting “c u l8r” on a phone with auto-correct and suggestion lists? Can’t be done.

Online (e.g. in a blog) I find it easier to “speak”. I can express myself more readily. I can think before typing. I have time to find the words. I can proof-read to ensure I haven’t said anything nasty. I don’t have to actually interact with people in real-time. (Don’t get me started on using the phone :-(.)

As for communicating emotion, there’s probably more emotion in my posts than there is in real life. And that’s not a lot. Hey, I’m a bloke. I’m emotionally crippled by design. I’ll just hold it all in, thanks.

Photo credit – Katsushika Hokusai, derivative work: AMorozov, Wikimedia Commons licence

  1. May 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    So true of you Dr Ali! I too, tend to ‘people watch’….when I allow my vocal cords to have a rest from yabbering on relentlessly!
    I have seen you blending nice & quietly into the background …..then I come along, at regular intervals, like a possessed demon, interrupting the quiet sesh of ‘people watching’ to drag ya back into the room!!! :))


    • May 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Yep! You’re my little “social enabler” 🙂
      You’re not supposed to see me blending in – I’ll have to work on my ninja skills!


  2. May 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Oh I agree with you, draliman. I communicate so much better in writing. In day to day life I don’t like too much talking 🙂


    • May 5, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Quite a few have said the same thing – at least we have our blogs to express ourselves!


  3. May 6, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Wow, thank’s for your honesty! So good to know I am not the only one. I love the ninja-bit! Going to have to remember that. Ninja just sounds so much better than wallflower!


    • May 6, 2013 at 6:45 am

      Yes, “party-ninja” does sound kind of cool, doesn’t it!


  1. May 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

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