Misconceptions, Misunderstandings And How The Internet Can Ruin Your Life - BrianaDragon Creations

Misconceptions, Misunderstandings And How The Internet Can Ruin Your Life

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Computer Keyboard Confused - Image: Public Domain, Morguefile
Posted by / November 25, 2014 / 7 Comments

Computer Keyboard Confused - Image: Public Domain, Morguefile

 

I recently had a heartbreaking experience. I said some things and my friends saw them in an unintended way and it lead to what could well have been the end of my wonderful connection to three amazing people. I think we have it sorted now, and I hope that we do, but there have been some valuable lessons in this experience.

The most prevalent lesson is this: the internet can ruin your life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the internet. I love the way it gives us access to everything on the planet and millions of people. It’s amazing. But… text. That’s the thing. There are limitations to text. We cannot truly express ourselves in this medium. There are not enough emoticons or bracketed expressions [sigh] to truly convey ourselves to the world. And in our desire to immediately share ourselves with others, we may even forget to use those few things that may be able to help us in this particular form of communication.

My three best friends and I recently had a blowout. There’s no better word for it. I was in full-on panic mode. My heart, full of love for these people, was breaking. I could not understand what could possibly have transpired to make things happen the way they did. I tried to express myself, but my pain came across as bitterness and anger, and only served to exacerbate the issue. And even that, my love of words and meaning, they failed me and turned against me.

I believe that we have sorted out the issues, but in the midst of our anger and personal hurt, it became apparent that the internet, and text communication through social networks, was greatly to blame. Not that any of us were faultless, mind you. We each thought our intentions were clear, each thinking that we meant the best. Each of us was equally hurt for things that were not necessarily the fault of the other. But in text, with no eye contact, no body language, and no vocal intonation, our meanings were anything but clear.

I don’t think there was one among the five of us that wasn’t hurt by what transpired. In the end though, it seems certain, a thing we can all agree on, was that the communication medium failed us. I long ago accepted that to most I seem elitist and harsh, and well, a complete bitch. While this is far from the truth, I was mistaken to think that all was clear among my friends and we were beyond misunderstandings. The medium of text failed us all, and made my words come across in ways that I could never have imagined.

I have long been a supporter of not only proofreading what you say, but of trying to make your intention clear. Be honest, up front, but always as kind as you can be. However, through this faceless, voiceless form of communication, mistakes are bound to happen, and misinterpretations will occur. We have to be careful, but also, and maybe more importantly, we have to be willing to truly talk to each other.

If my friends and I had told each other how we felt from the start, all of the pain we all felt could have been avoided. I could have re-worded or explained the text-related misconstruance of what I’d said, and so could they. But people often hold pain in, letting it steep rather than accepting that they might have gotten it wrong and just asking. I claim no superiority over anyone, but I have gotten to a point in my life where I hold fewer grudges. I understand that the internet is a bitch, and sometimes people see things through their own glasses not of rose, but of pain and anger and the general bullshit of life. I told my one friend I refused to tell them what they’d done against me, because I’d already let it go. That was the truth, but a truth few people have these days. Of course, in all of this, I learned that I’m not as good yet as I’d like to be, and I actually did have some pain that I’d been holding in. Luckily, it came out calmly and we all worked through it.

I’ve seen too many friendships and loves and even familial bonds fall apart due to something said and misunderstood online. I think we all need to understand that 1) People are not psychic, and they don’t know what we don’t tell them. 2) The internet can cause serious misunderstandings. 3) We all need to accept, and try to combat, the fact that we see life through our current pain or joy, and that may not always be what the person speaking to us means.

I pray that my friends and I are over this hump, and that we have all learned from this. If not, it’s my hope that we can come to that point of forgiveness and understanding. The internet is an unforgiving mistress, and we need to learn to adapt to a faceless form of communication. Not so much that we lose our humanity, but in a way that we can express our humanity through it.

About Briana Blair

Artist, writer, ordained interfaith minister, Dr. of Metaphysics and passionate oddball. I love to create, and I love bringing knowledge and joy to others. I've been an artist for 35 years, a writer for 26 and a Pagan for 22. And I'm just getting started!
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7 Comments

    UserR

    Unfortunately, Bri, all of us are far from perfect. I don’t think any of us are even close to where we want to be. But we all have plenty of time left on this earth to improve and learn from these experiences. The world in general has become an especially dark place lately and it has affected us all in some terrible ways. We’ve been all seeing things in much different lights – or seeing things amidst a growing darkness which casts shadows over the good intentions originally intended.

    So the misconceptions and misinterpretations that occur, while they are minuscule on their own, get blown out of proportion. What may be intended as a bit of positive trivia comes across as something it really isn’t. Advice can be misconstrued as harsh criticism. But in all the stresses that hammer away at all of us, day after day, we just say we’ll let it go until the dynamic became so negatively shifted that we didn’t even realize we were creating these rifts. It all just sort of happened. And wow, was it ugly…

    But at least we’re all past it now, and I’m really glad we came to that “stupid bomb” policy, so that if we ever see a potential issue, we call it out straight out. It’ll be good for all of us to make sure we’re communicating clearly and concisely (that conciseness can be an issue for me, you know) in what are most definitely imperfect mediums – that is, the internet and text messaging. We’ve all learned a lot from this. And I think we’re all better for it.

      Briana Blair

      I’m glad it all worked out too, and that we’re all committed to being better because of it.
      I think Eric and I need to get together and write a post, or maybe one each, about the stupid bomb policy. That has saved us so much heartache and misunderstanding, I bet a lot of people could benefit from it.

        UserL

        I’m so glad it all worked out too. It was heartbreaking to have that occur in a circle as close as ours. We are much more than friends. We are family.

        The important thing here is that we’re all learning a very valuable lesson — and also we still have each other. The stupid bomb policy is awesome and I definitely think more people should know about it. It could be extremely useful for so many people.

        The world is quite a harsh place and we all need so much more love and understanding — something we’ll always have. And that’s getting rarer for some people these days.

          Briana Blair

          The world does make things hard. I think we all make the mistake of letting what’s going on out there negatively impact our personal relationships. It’s not easy to keep those apart. I keep hoping that the world will wake up and stop creating so much shit and negativity so that people can just live. You know?

            UserL

            Exactly. 🙂

    Jaime Heidel

    I completely understand where you’re coming from on this one. I’ve had more than a few text/email miscommunications and it’s amazing, once you get it out in the open, what the truth for each person really is. Glad you were able to work it out. Great post!

      Briana Blair

      Thank you.
      Yes, it can be surprising. And so much of it can be avoided if people just speak up as soon as they think something is off or they feel hurt. If we all talked about it right away, we could stop many big fights and losses of people we care about.

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