I created this site so I’d have a place to vent. I’ve done a bit of it - mostly related to social media. That still has me flumuxed. I like to post here as way to cleanse myself of negative thoughts. Consider it psychiatry for the internet world.
To clean my headtrash I thought I’d relate a couple of things that happened in the last few weeks. Both of which left me wondering what to do.
First - LinkedIn Groups
I posted an article on a blog. MY purpose for writing the post was to get people thinking differently about a topic by introducing a similar but different area of thought. In other words - I borrowed the logic from one place and applied it in another. I thought it was a somewhat interesting “thought experiment.”
I put those words in quotes because I wasn’t offering facts. I wasn’t offering a dissertation with research and footnotes. It was simply and idea based on another idea. I was offering a way to think about something that may have been different than what had been thought of before. I posted a link to the article in LinkedIn - to a few of the groups I belong to related to the topic. I got a few bites… nice comments… interesting points of view. Some were pro “nice post” - some were con “never will work.”
I responded and tried to clarify that my post wasn’t really about proffering a solution to a problem but a new tangent on the thinking that currently exists. I got a response - again it was..
"won’t work. you’d be laughed at if you tried to do this in the real world."
I’m not offended. I expect anything different and new to be looked at sideways. It is always that way with a new idea. But what is bugging me is that the responder is shutting down the avenue for conversation. His responses are all about - no, no, no. There isn’t one hint of…
"in the current line of thinking it won’t work but if you think this way it might." Or… "won’t work that way - but you may need to take a different route like this to get to your end game."
It’s just -
"No. Won’t work. Stop."
So the question is —— How do you respond to that?
Do you continue to engage? Try to get my point across. Continue the conversation? Or do a I just send a note back saying "Uncle. You win. I’m an idiot, you’re smart."
I want to "win" so to speak and convert this person (they seem smart) and see if they can offer some value to the discourse. But I’m a bit put off by the tone and the veracity of their arguments (and I use the word argument in its most positive connotation.)
Does it do me any good to continue the conversation?
Situation #2 - Email Chain
Working on a project with someone where they asked for input. I offered mine. They said great - add it to a document in google docs. I tried. Didn’t work. I sent them a note and said I couldn’t add it to the doc. They said… email updates to them. I did. They said "can you put them in an email to me." I said I just did and thinking that the “way” I sent them didn’t work with their process, I offered another option on how I could get them my input. They said “forget it…” (but not so nicely.)
So, there I was, sitting there in front of my computer on a Friday trying to get work done before my family comes in for the long weekend (and we all know what that means from a stress and anxiety standpoint) and trying to make someone else’s life easier by responding to their request, and because we’re trying to do everything on email, we’re not communicating effectively.
I’m pissed. But I don’t want to be pissed. I know they’re working hard. I’m working hard. We’re all trying to get something done.
In both cases I walk away from the computer in a pretty bad mood. I’m trying real hard and not getting anywhere.
We Don’t Give Good Internet
My point in all of this rambling is that in two instances in the past few days I’ve been pissed off and full of unrequited rage. And it is all do to the fact that we don’t/can’t communicate well via the written word.
In one case the person is providing their “opinion” in a way that sounds condescending. I only “hope” they really don’t want to sound that way. If they so, they succeeded. In the other case I think the person is trying to be funny (but wasn’t and therefore didn’t succeed.)
In both cases the overall communication effort was a bust.
I know the other person thinks it is my fault - that I’m a poor communicator. I’m also sure it is their fault because I KNOW I’m not a poor communicator.
I find there is no easy way to extricate myself from either of these situations except to surrender. I am not communicating - they are not communicating. I am mad. I’m sure they are mad.
We all lose.
We really, really need to find a way to do this better. I —— really need to find a way to do this better.
I know - maybe we talk.
Nah… that’s so 1980s.