Saturday, 13 February 2010

Electronic Etiquette

Events of the past couple of days have taken from me a decision I needed to think over, ticks No 4 off the 'to do list'

Very sadly the conversation about a possible end of a friendship has been conducted by instant messaging and email. Forums in which tone and understanding will always be lost to a significant degree. Frustratingly my request for 'space' was translated as 'do not contact me again', not only has this prompted hasty and unnecessary responses, and a simple request has been disrespected but it also means that any kind of meaningful conversation has been robbed from the situation. The use of the medium has wasted an opportunity for understanding and mutual respect leaving behind instead a shattered friendship, anger and poorly chosen words.

I love the internet, and facebook, blogging and the like but will it ever been acceptable to adopt these mediums as a replacement for common courtesy and face to face interaction? I don't think so. Sometimes there are messages that just cannot be conveyed electronically. People need to see and feel words from a real human being. There is no substitute.

Ending a friendship by email is vile, cowardly, wasteful and bad manners.

I have just left it be, because a war of electronic words will only result in two people vying for control and trying to be 'right', rather than actually listening with care in a way that compromise, or appreciation is possible. I was daft to engage in electronic comms in the first place, but I will not be complicit in engaging in this damaging game any further.

If I ever get to a place where I don't have the courtesy or guts to face my demons face to face, and I deliver a denouement by text or email, shoot me.


  1. Hi, V, I sure relate to this post. And agree totally about electronic communication. I had a 10 year separation (the friendship ended 10 years ago) when I tried to convey how I felt in an e-mail. The person and I are friends again now, after 10 years, but I know that if I had not tried to communicate via e-mail how I was feeling, but instead had spoken to her in person, things might not have ended between us at the time. I am sorry you are having to go through this.

  2. Although we have become more sophistcated in the tools of communication, we are also using them to abicate our responsibilities for another human beings feelings. The removal of the face to face intimacy of conversation deprives us of visual and verbal nuances, as well as good manners. Goodluck V in your journey and know that you are never alone. x