Hiding behind a screen

In which I ROFLCOPTER while Red Lady Dancing.

People holding mobile phones up at a concert

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 ofย gratuitous quotation marks and a smattering of exclamations.

Also more than once there was an emoticon.

I try to avoid emoticons, especially the ๐Ÿ˜‰ . 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. # ๐Ÿ˜‰

Source: Mask

Author: geekergosum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

5 thoughts on “Hiding behind a screen”

  1. I’ve used lol a lot, and it’s strange that I do that because I used to hate it and associate it with little kids. Reading your post has convinced me to stop using it. Actually I think I’ll stop with the ๐Ÿ™‚ too. I’d hate to think I’m conveying passive aggressiveness. It’s really an over-used emoticon.


  2. Well expressed points that I really care about. It’s a dilemma—hair-trigger reactions leading to lots of self-censorship or avoidance of exploring subjects (even sensitively) with others.



  3. You do not have a sarcastic and dry humour, your have an english humour, similar to mine, although I often couple it with black humour, which is also an english trait. Once Mr. Swiss said to many (actually a few times) “not everyone understands your sense of humour”. That is their problem, not mine, and the Swiss? I am still trying to find their sense of humour, it is definitely not British.


    1. Thank you…I do forget that I share a similar sense of humour (living with an American who struggles with the black humour in a lot of shows makes me think I’m odd). Have you ever seen League of Gentlemen? That is an interesting show to show a non-Brit!


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