I simply want everything I do to be an act of worship to God. ********************EVERYTHING******************** like a spider's web, intricately woven, the threads of our lives are entwined, making us who we are, where we are, at this time in history.... here's a small record of one family's journey to love God

Saturday, July 7, 2007

ratty relationships

I've borne witness to some yukky internet relationship stuff recently.
I'm sure part of the problem is the medium.....there are no facial expressions or tone of voice to aid understanding.
But it seems to me there's an awful lot of "think the worst" and "jump to the wrong conclusions" too......and throwing in a handful of smiley faces or winks doesn't make it OK.

Can anyone explain to me.....

Consumer Chick, who hasn't caught up with the fact that vintage is in and knitting-and-crocheting is today's hot, sees Not-Quite-A-Nana showing pictures of her knitted socks and macrame flower pot holders (OK poetic license in force - there was no macrame...but I'm sure it's coming...you just wait!).
What are Consumer Chick's options?
She could not look.
She could look and not comment.
She could look and say something polite, even if she doesn't mean it (OK, that's not an option, but my mother always taught me to say nothing if I had nothing nice to say).
But what does she say?
"Hasn't Not-Quite-A-Nana heard of shopping malls? Doesn't she know you can buy three pairs for, like, $10?"
Was that necessary? Wouldn't it have been more encouraging to congratulate Nearly-Nana on her newfound skill? That wouldn't mean that Consumer Chick has to stop shopping or that she is interested in learning to knit herself....for all I know, she doesn't even want to. And That's Fine.

But she could be kind.
Or quiet.

Here's another one:

Eco-Dude tells how much she's using her car...and how she's trying to limit its use.
How do Non-Eco-Dudes respond?
They could not read her post.
They could read and not comment.
They could wail about how impossible it would be for them to do that kind of thing, because their needs are so different (or whatever).
They could put forward a strong argument In Favour of Car Usage.

But what happens?
They attack Eco-Dude and condemn her for preaching.
That seems about as profitable as scenario number one.

Why can't we just take each other at face value? Maybe even have a good debate. Why do we have to turn our guilt into their fault? Why do we attack personally instead of encouraging others' successes? Why are we threatened when someone is different to us? Why do we get really defensive when someone is better than us? What is wrong?


Beverley said...

I have to agree with your own sentiments here regarding the unkind comments of some via the internet. If the comments had been made face to face it might have been seen that it was either a joke (a poor one though), a criticism, or just a throw-away passing comment but with the lack of facial expressions and tone of voice no one can be sure what was really intended. I think Internet users would be wise to not make comments without some kind of qualification when using these forms of communication. After all, as you say, if you can't say something nice, dont say anything - especially if it's likely to be interpreted as being unkind or hurtful. I love your blogs! Keep it up.

Kimber said...

I find defensive comments like this are generally due to guilt.
For example: "If I rubbish this persons choice, I will feel better about myself."

blackpurl said...

I put the commnet moderator on my blog for that very reason... I had a nasty comment or two left for me and I thought "why am I allowing this to happen?"