So I've been thinking recently.... I wonder what percentage of conversations handled in text actually come across as the writer intends. Whether it be an IM, and E-mail, a hand written letter, or whatever. I had a conversation with a friend earlier this afternoon that totally left me feeling offended. I'm not sure if he meant to, or what, but it certainly got me thinking about his subject.
I went a little like this....
me - 'bout time you woke up ;)
him - been up since the crack of 11:00
him - well, got up at 8:00 to feed/walk the dog, then went back to bed
me - heheh, I was 20 miles into my bike ride by then.
him - thats cool, then again, 3 hours after you were asleep last night, I was up doing stuff
me - sure about that?
him - I'm logging off now, later.
This isn't the first time he's logged off during a conversation, but in the past it has been because I've been purposefully prodding him, and teasing him to the point where I know it would upset it him. So the precident here is when this person logs off, its because I've annoyed him.
So at first, I have to wonder if he went into the defensive from my opening statement, which I had meant to come across as a kind of jovial teasing comment, knowing he's not a morning person. The next exchange was merely meant to be in an informational context, to let him know, that yes, I did go for a bike ride today. I was half expecting him to ask, since he has in the past, and the weather this morning was horrid.
Next, it seems to me he has to come up with some excuse as to why he got up at 11. (ie, "I was up late"). Which is fine, I didn't need to know that, I wasn't about to grill him for not getting any exersize in or anything. That was actually furthest from my mind. What gets me is that he automatically assumes that I was in bed and asleep at some time. Which is why I responded the way I did. I didn't happen to fall asleep until around 1:30 AM this morning (last time I looked at the clock anyway). I was going to comment that I was actually impressed that he got up at 11:00 AM if he truley was up and active at 4:30 AM (3 hours after I fell asleep). Before I could comment, he signed off in a manner that made me feel as if he thought I were attacking him and accusing him of something. Who knows. It just makes you think, how often what we write, really gets interpreted the way you meant.
Got any good stories? Comment on this, I'd love to hear them.