One of the things my parents used to advise me was to “engage brain before opening mouth.” I did not realise how wise they were at the time (both parents and words), but the older I get the more I understand how things said in haste or as a quick reaction can be hurtful and cause unintended outcomes.
In our hi-tech, ultra-quick communicating world I think the maxim could be updated and adapted to: “engage brain before typing with digit.” Because the text-based forms of communication are more difficult to read than the intonation in someone’s voice or the look on their face we need to be cautious about text messaging, instant messaging, tweeting, emails, Facebook status updates and the like. Even emoticons don’t convey enough information and acronyms can be misunderstood (for a long time I thought LOL meant ‘lots of love’ and felt warm and fuzzy (and creeped out depending on who LOLed me)) ;-).
I had a situation yesterday where I thought someone’s brief email response to me about an attachment I had sent was a bit unkind when what they were trying to tell me was that they did not think I had sent the right attachment. The confusion (caused entirely by me) was cleared up instantly by a quick phone call!
I’m all for using modern technology, don’t get me wrong, in fact I love it. But is sending a text-based message communicating with someone, or is it merely exchanging information?**
Be blessed, be a blessing.
*it was going to be “engage brain before extending digit” but that may be misinterpreted (proving my point!). Don’t go there!
**the irony is not lost on me that this bloggage has been communicated entirely through the medium of text… :-O