October 07, 2008

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Why is it always easier to write, than to say? Easier to SMS, email, and IM than to talk face to face or over the phone and say, "I have a problem with you."

Is sarcastic-droll-rude-online me, really me? An image that I can't possibly carry into real life because it's impossible to say some things to a face.

Is emotional-insecure-me-in-person, too much of me? A reality I'd rather not have people figure out.

Is it the fact that some things, said aloud, would sound downright stupid?

Or is it just easier to communicate with a white window than to have to deal with facial expressions?

It's easier to write an email to say you screwed up and you're sorry, right? Maybe because a delayed response means you don't have to deal with emotions in real-time? Or because you know, subconsciously, it will cause more havoc in your mind if your apology is not accepted?

Is the web-interface an easier escape route? To run from difficult situations, hard things, anger, fear, frustration, nostalgia, love and friendship? To pretend nothing, you know, really matters.

Does adding an "lol" at the end of a message make it seem a little less... intense? Is a smiley really the equivalent of an actual smile?

What would make you happier - a heartfelt thank you online, or one in person?

And what would hurt more - a friendship falling apart online, or in person?

What's wrong with it if it is easier to tell someone - family, friends, anyone - how much they mean to you through the written word? As long as it's being expressed in some way.

Are we scared of not being able to express things well enough in person? Or are we scared of expressing them only too well in non-verbal ways?

Is vulnerability really that bad? Is nonchalance overrated?

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Afterthought: What are personal blogs/entries like this? Yet another escape route from emotions? Or simply a medium to express what could be a universal phenomenon, with no solution?

Apologies to the people who came here looking for fun posts. :) Next post will lampoon Yash Raj, SRK, reality TV and anything else you want. :D

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13 comments:

Abhi said...

Ummm.. your fun posts are great, but somehow, this post makes a lot of sense too. And a comfort to read that someone else also thinks alike.

Avantika A. said...

It is much easier to send a mail as opposed to a conversation face to face or even on the phone.

You get a chance to arrange all the thoughts in your head and you're allowed to hit backspace or delete. In an actual conversation there is no chance to erase the spoken word.

Doing things through writing is also easier probably because that way you dont see the non-verbal responses (facial expression, tone of voice) which can sometimes me more speaking than words.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...

Asterix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Asterix said...

I personally think an email can be more lucid and unambiguous than an emotional verbal exchange in person.

An email says I took care enough to collect my thoughts and put them to words, when a phone call would be easier. An email says I would come over and talk in person, except I am drinking a beer and picking my nose right now.

Peru said...

I completely second asterix's comment. Written word makes expressing a lot more lucid & non-hurried & so it gives you time to think a lot before shooting off.

Yes. Yes, I prefer SMSes & e-mails to phone calls. But I hope never to shy away from a chat over coffee. I haven't yet. I shall not.

Yes. The 'lol's & ':)'s have become tools to un-intensify (made up word, yes) an SMS/IM. Deal with it. We are victims of a tech-revolution. Yes, victims. Sigh.

Lastly, despite the omnipresent digitalization, a thank-you in person would make me happier; a friendship falling apart in either manner would hurt but falling apart online would definitely hurt more. Will elaborate in person :)

You ask too many questions. Your theories me likes!

Cheers. Keedas. Peace.

PS: Internet back! I should be studying MIS right now :P

Ani said...

I agree. There is definitely a world of a difference between doing/saying things in person and speaking out online.

As far as the 'lol' ':P' goes, I would have to say it's possible in person too, just that there's always a big chance of being misconstrued.

But, I would choose a person-to-person thing any day, even if I were to screw up at it, because it would show who you really are. Online things may or may not denote what you really want to say. it's just something that's a lot more thought over.

And mistakes, the delete buttons to the rescue. But in real life, it hurts a lot more.

curlyconman said...

Or is it just easier to communicate with a white window than to have to deal with facial expressions?

Ahem Ahem...

LOL is so overused that it's almost annoying.

And I haven't been lucky enough to see too much of 'sarcastic-droll-rude' you online.

NOT FAIR!

Jhayu said...

Talking about exactly the same thing, an xkcd comic strip. Yes, I read that shit.

http://www.xkcd.com/438/

And yeah, will be back up to full operational efficacy soon.

shoumeli said...

The only reason, i think, it's easier to tell somebody something by writing it,is because you don't have to look the person in the eye while saying it.. and so it automatically becomes a lot simpler.

But this one has really made me think..

Mudra said...

@Abhi: Thanks. :)

@Avantika, Rahul, Peru, Ani: Agreed, totally.

@Anurag: 'Twas a generalisation. didn't mean me specifically.

@Jayant: Welcome back! =)

@Shoumeli: You've made history by typing so well. Lol. Glad it did.

Karthik Sivaramakrishnan said...

Nice post. I like the fact that there are only questions.

Spruhal said...

Surprised to see such a post from an active blogger like you.

The fact is that 90% of communication is non-verbal. Its not the words but the tone with which they're said as well as the facial expressions accompanying them that really tell the story.

That's one of the reasons why I'm not on a online networking site nor have chatted with anyone online for more than 4 years. For that matter i hardly even send emails to anyone!

(That is actually the fallout of a disastrous online crush that changed my life forever. Will tell you the whole story some day.)

I still send an SMS to people, but even that i think is no substitute for a conversation.

The funny thing here is I'm contradicting myself by discussing this over the net!!!

- Hypocritical Me