Friday, September 09, 2011

Before You Hit Enter

"We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, and we are then master of the situation." ~ Florence Scovel Shinn

I try very hard not to insult people. Sometimes a person takes issue with my stance, but I personally go after no one. And I try to be exceptionally careful on other people's blogs or Facebook pages. But we are human, and writing a quick message can be accidentally misinterpreted.

It's key to breathe once or twice before answering a controversial reply--maybe sleep on it. A well-written opposing view can carry a lot of weight . . . the targeted word being "well-written".

Like the quote states, we might have a strong personal feeling about what someone says, does, or feels, but we can take a moment to form our words, and sometimes even seriously decide if they are needed at all. But if we take as much time answering email, replying to FB messages and commenting on blogs, we not only will avoid an online flaming episode, but we might attract a few people to our ever struggling platform. And in the end, our practice to restrain and respond with tact, becomes our norm. That's a great contribution to the world, don't you think?

Ever regretted what you've written?
Ever hit ENTER a second too soon?


widdershins said...

Yep ... but thankfully only in emails to friends, and not too serious.
Ninety-eleventy percent of the time I always check what I've written before I hit send, if for nothing else than to check my spelling. I'm notorious for transposing letters!

Anonymous said...

I hit sent too quickly... and notice typos! hehe
But I do agree and see too many people send without thinking.
Great post.

Carol J. Alexander said...

Yes...I'm still kicking myself for insulting an editor for taking too long to respond. To this day, we speak but I've not gotten brave enough to send him another submission.

Kathleen Basi said...

There's always a balancing act to know where the line lies...because if we have convictions that require us to act, that also sometimes means speaking out. But sometimes, too often maybe, speaking out becomes a reaction instead of a rational response. I'm getting better about not taking things personally, which helps me to respond based on conviction and not emotion. It seems like a small difference, but it's a real one.

Hope Clark said...

I used to be extremely vocal on my stands on various subjects, but I have since learned that the audience determines when I open my mouth. If the recipients are not even a little open to my topic matter, then I'm wasting my time and come across as a ranter. No point in pressing a point when the listener has tuned you out.

Anonymous said...

This is a post I think we all should keep on our desktops. But wouldn't it be great if we could record it, enter it into our motion-detecting "Enter" key, then every time our finger moves to hit "Enter," the recording plays before our finger gets to the key?
If you can figure out how to do this, Hope, I'll be your 1st customer!

Ann-Louise Truschel said...

Being sensitive to the feelings of others, even if they are strangers, is the ideal, to be sure. However, human beings will always, unfortunately, turn out to be too human sometimes.
I'm sure we've all said things we've regretted and done things we've regretted (particularly when we're driving). In other words, nobody can afford to be too thin-skinned. Writers, above all, should know that. After all, we do get our share of rejections.
But I also agree with your point, Hope, that responding to a rant is a waste of time. Ranters are interested only in their own opinions and responding makes you sound like a ranter too.


Sia said...

I had a cousin mad at me for months because she skimmed a message I sent her. She thought I had referred to her child as a simpleton, when I had used the term singleton. I have twins, and its a common term to use to distinguish between multiple and single births.

This issue is a two-sided coin. Not only do you have to be careful what you type, but what you are reading and interpreting into that message.

Great observation, Hope. :)