Learning to talk

By DGIBSON

Image from openclipart

I was involved in an online conversation in a secular public forum last week and, after a bit of chat with a few folks, received a pretty vitriolic response from a new poster. He accused me of being deliberately provocative and (to paraphrase) too smarmy for my own good. I hadn’t realised that my posts were open to that interpretation and I apologised. To be fair to him, he also apologised for going over the top. A couple of days later, another contributer accused me of being deliberately and unnecessarily provocative. I hadn’t intended this at all.

Within a few days of joining the conversation, I realised that I was doing something badly wrong. I’m still not sure but I can see at least four problems. First, these conversations were a new form of communication for me and I hadn’t learned the language ot its etiquette. I’m used to communicating in the lecture room and pulpit and, of course in all the normal casual situations of life, face to face, but in a world where the reader only has black words on a white screen, all of the subtleties of personal communication are missing. I hope I’m getting …read more

Read the full article here: http://www.spiritofunion.org/learning-talk/


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