The biggest problem I face when I sit behind my keyboard is trying to make the symbols and syntax approximate close to my initial intentions. It has always been an annoyance that the typen word cannot capture nuance and tone.
More than once I have had to delete paragraphs because they didn’t come out as I intended. I have a sarcastic and dry humour that translates very poorly to the written word, it needs the inflection of voice and the rolling of eyes to signal that you shouldn’t take what I write to seriously.
This was always a problem during the initial parts of my courtship with Mrs G. Our early chat was conducted via the mediums of Gmail and Facebook so a lot was said on screen. The problem is Arial size 10 has very little emotional range.
When I read back over those first few chats there is a complete difference between the way we communicate now. Every we said was said in detail to try to avoid any confusion as to what we meant. There were plenty of gratuitous quotation marks and a smattering of exclamations.
Also more than once there was an emoticon.
I try to avoid emoticons, especially the 😉 . I’m British if I send you a semi-colon close bracket then this has layers and layers of passive aggresiveness so even that is not being presented clearly. The same applies to the usage of LOL and anything with a hashtag.
It’s why I get nervous writing about the “big” subjects like politics or religion. Online people’s offense reaction is often on a hair-trigger, even the slightest deviation towards controversy is a pathway to angry internet confrontation. When I speak in person about them I can gauge the reaction of others and temper my tone to suit the situation, online I lose that control.
This is the major problem of writing on the internet, you are at the whims of the reader. I’ve seen numerous situations where both participants are involved in the same chat but are hearing two different things. It’s hard to make sure that what you say is being understood, to make sure that my post is carefully crafted to avoid ambiguity.
Ha, who am I kidding. # 😉