Sunday, June 6, 2010


The modern world is weird. There, I've said it. See, we have all these different ways of communicating with people... you'd think we'd pick one and settle, but then, we can't settle. Ever. We're too picky. That takes too long. That's too expensive. I'm not bothered going out. Today, for me, was no exception in the very strange wonders of communication, but one thing I've found is that it's possible to read between the lines even in direct conversation with someone. Implied meanings can be gotten from any form of communication. More on that later...

So, how did I communicate today? Well, the most obvious one that only a hermit is excempt from is face-to-face communication. This, I find, has all the benefits of texting without the misinterpretation of smileys, of phone calls with the advantage of seeing the person's face, but without the benefits of the written word as whole, in that the person can also see your face. Face-to-face communcation also has the implied meaning sort of stuff going on, in how the person presents himself; my boss was quite annoyed that people walked on the just-mopped floor, so he gave them a dirty look. No words were exchanged, but the message was quite clear: I want to hurt you for doing that. Okay, maybe not that exact message, but you get the picture.

As I'm a teenager, I've obviously also texted. Texting has the advantage of not having to reply straight away. It has the disadvantage, though, of feeling a bit ignored if you don't get a reply. I've actually gotten used to this with some people; they don't bother replying unless there's something that they need to reply to, something serious. Well, 'serious' - it can be anything from a problem to trying to organise a night out.

Then there's Facebook. I know, fun times. The chat system works quickest, and it's more private. Today I didn't really use the other function very much. But chat... well, that was quick, and because I had a proper conversation going (that subsequently became a text conversation), I wasn't going to get ignored. Disadvantages of it, though, are that someone, like me (for example), might keep saying things even without getting a reply.

Email, though I didn't use it today, works in much the same way as letters, which I can't claim to have sent very much at all in my life. Email is quicker and free (assuming you're already paying for an Internet connection...), while letters have a more personal feel to them. Plus, it's harder to ignore a letter if it's right there in front of you. Replying, on the other hand, requires some effort, like getting the stamp. The advantages of both are quite clear - you can say everything you need to without someone interupting, and for all the same price (unless it's a very big letter, then it might cost more...). The disadvantage, though, is that it's more or less impossible to get the right tone across. If you're a little upset, it's likely that you'll come across as being very upset. And the words are stuck there - you can't unsend them, and the person will be able to read into them as much as they want, which might be too much. I know this from experience. I vented in an email to a friend, and the result was that he misunderstood them in a That stuff might cause me to worry if you're not careful sort of way. And there was that time I accidentally made someone cry... long story. Basically, she sent an email with a couple of jokes that didn't get across very well, while I replied calmly, but in a way that came across as being harsh (but funny to other people...)

Then there's phone calls. These are like face-to-face conversations, except for a couple of differences: it costs money to call someone (But I have free calls! Yes, but you paid for them first!) and you can't hang-up on someone when they're right in front of you. The equivilant of that is them slapping you and running away. That doesn't happen very often, but people hanging up on you can happen a lot. And, of course, there are no faces to tell when that sound someone makes is a laugh or a cough or whatever.

As to the reading between the lines thing... well, I called Liam to tell him about some of the ways of communication I've been using these past couple of days (the fact that that sentence is intentionally vague just makes me seem like such a big nerd - I swear, it's not exactly how it looks). He was driving. He told me so. I heard the car and the wind as he sped back to Achill ('sped' being a bit of an exageration - I'm fairly sure he was within the speed limits, they're just very high because it's not a road with many people running across them after a football...) Now, this doesn't mean much to most people, until you take into account another conversation with Liam - if he won his hurling match today, he was going to the pub to celebrate, as his team always do. If he lost... well, I think you get the picture. He didn't have to say that he lost, and I didn't have to ask him. In his telling me that he was driving and therefore couldn't talk on the phone (see, fast driver but safe driver), there was the message between the lines.

Other ways of communicating, of course, are books, television, YouTube, radio, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, etc. I read some of a book today. There, communication between myself and Darren Shan. I watched some television... I think. Did I watch anything? I think I looked at the screen when that England V Everyone match was on earlier, but I didn't watch it. Okay, communication of some sort, at least. YouTube... not today, oddly. Radio... heard some music through it. Magazines and newspapers... nope. I very rarely use them. They're useful, yeah, but I don't use them. Pamphlets... I can't remember ever looking at a pamphlet.

So yes, there you have it. I've just examined communcations on my blog (another way of communicating), and I'll link this on my Twitter (yet another one - love it!), and it's probably all a bit boring, except for the slapping in the face mention, and the reading between the lines thing. And, in case you're wondering, the Darren Shan book is The Thin Executioner. And no, I will not be showing you the emails that were sent. They are private and/or embarassing for me and/or other people. Now, time for tea - an instigator of communication. Like alcohol, except that I drink it.

If I've bored you with this, please use the communication device below (known as "Comments") to let me know. Love you!

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