(Note from Jason: Jodi has an account here, and once in a while is inspired to write guest posts, but rarely gets them to the point where she’s comfortable publishing them. Tonight, she finished one. Hooray!)
I’ve been told that I should write; this is why I can’t.
When arguing in online debates, or just commenting on blogs, the message is too difficult to get out, simply because of the human condition. I see it in comments all the time and it intrigues me to no end. Usually it devolves into repetition — people can’t figure out any other possible way to get their message out there, so they just repeat the same thing, worded slightly differently. I do it all the time. I sit and think and type and delete and re-word until I get a headache from trying to find the perfect wording; some wording that surely, surely the other party must understand. It doesn’t even matter if they ever agree with the argument that I’m making, I’m just sure that I MUST have gotten my point across, must have gotten my message out there in plain view.
But that is rarely how it works. This is usually what keeps me from writing long comments or blog posts of my own. The message. I get part way through and I stop because I know that no matter what I say, no matter how eloquent my language, how precisely chosen my words, it wont matter one bit. A thousand different people will read my words and interpret a thousand different messages from it. Even those who know me well, who know my mannerisms and the way I speak, will get it wrong, at least somewhat. I would take a chance and suggest that even internet friends that agree often probably make incorrect assumptions about the other persons message at least 50% of the time.
You can’t think another person’s thoughts, you can’t be in their heads. All this is is just text to you, I can say I’m raving mad but it wont make you mad unless there is something in this wall of text that triggers an emotional response in your own brain. Trying to get my message across the internet, the pure, original message that I intended with my first thought, is near impossible. Once I type these words and hit send it’s entirely up to you.
Not that it’s a lot easier in person though, body language screws up a lot too.
Communication is highly inefficient.