Hot off the Press

By on November 17, 2004

Communication or Miscommunication?

So you’re sitting at your computer, stalking the away message of the one you crush, noticing whether or not they’ve been idle for too long. Can you IM them? Are they actually at their computer? What does their away message really mean, and who’s that person they shout out in their profile? You wonder, if you IM their away message, did they actually see the message, or did they get kicked off. Maybe since it was just an IM, you can text message them. There. Good idea. No voice on voice action, but a simple text message. But, how do you know if they received it and are they just ignoring you with no response, or did it not go through? Well, maybe to make your point you could send an email, a fax…or page them…or show up at their door, or send a singing telegram…or maybe just call and hang up. Yes, perfect. Actually, I’ll call and block my number so they don’t know it’s me.
In a world full of chaos, the latest forms of communication may actually make things more complicated. The growing technology is incredibly helpful, but I feel it may take away from a piece of reality. We learn less responsibility and social normalcy than the pre-Internet days, before children were raised with slang-abbreviations and away messages. While the various options offer a variety of ways to keep in touch, there is not always a clear guarantee that your message has reached its destination; especially in the way you wish to convey it.
When these various forms of communication intertwine with the dating world, an already confusing place, it seems there are almost more questions then answers. For example, we seem to make excuses as to whether the other party got our message, and then feel a sense of insecurity when we have not heard back.
Another issue of clarity becomes lack of tone involved when conversing. Other than the exclamation points or wink faces involved in certain word messaging conversations, there is no true way to convey a thought or idea. A simple, “What are you doing tonight?” could be confused as an attempt at a date, when the person is just making conversation, or visa versa. Or, since there is there no way to tell if the person is at their computer mid-chat, you may feel neglected; when all they did was get up to pee. Amidst the confusion, the best way to understand where a relationship is going is the tone set from the beginning. If it is mainly an online relationship, it may seem more formal and intimidating to pick up the phone, whereas if the first step is an exchange in phone numbers, calling the person will not seem so foreign or forward.
In the end, it comes down to a personal comfort level, and the ability to realize that sometimes no response, is your response.
Regardless, when unsure, ask for clarity, be sure to define your statements, and you’ll begin to hear the beginnings of “You’ve Got Relationship.”

Look for
“Ask Ricky and Sara”
next week!


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