On the one hand, I could be proud of myself for how diligently I’ve toiled in the online trenches towards becoming sufficiently tech fluent to function in today’s world.
None of this is intuitive or comes naturally to me, and like the arrival of the automobile or phone for previous generations that upended life as it had been known, it was completely unexpected.
I can still remember reading in the entertainment section of the newspaper in the late 70s that personal computers were coming, and I thought, “Well that’s something my children will have to deal with.” But of course, the tech revolution steamrollered right over me, and everyone of my generation who thought they knew the basic skills required of a functioning adult.
One of the difficulties of the online world, I’ve discovered, is that you can be rude to people without ever knowing it.
The rules for courtesy in the online world are not in Emily Post. (Does anyone consult Emily Post anymore? Do you even know who I’m talking about?) It took me longer than the tech savvy to realize, for example, that people expect a response to a text message within an hour or so and to email message or FB post within a day – and that there is no such thing as going off-line for longer without announcing and apologizing for it. And I still miss those deadlines.
Then there is the stuff I just don’t know about. I’ve worked with virtual assistants for the last few years, and we’ve talked from time to time about adding a comments section for responses to my blog posts. Somehow I missed that that had been put in place, so I haven’t been acknowledging comments (maybe yours) as I would want to do!
So now I’ve discovered this trove of comments to my blog going way back, and if yours is one of them you may get the surprise of my responding to something you wrote four years ago! A couple of people wrote back when I didn’t respond to let me know they felt let down by that. I’ll be getting back to them too.
My sincere apologies if I missed a message from you!
The world we live in has both smashed us closer together and pulled us apart by and making it easier to unwittingly give offense. It’s also pressed us in with constant obligations that tend to leave us brittle and short tempered. Let’s be mindful of that – and breathe in some spaciousness for ourselves and others
Maybe the day will come when there are so many thousands of people writing to me that I can’t respond to them individually, but it’s not here yet, and if it ever is, I’ll let you know. I may not ever do this perfectly, but I want you to know that if you had something you wanted to share, I care.
A lot of conflict comes down to hurt feelings that would resolve if we would keep in contact long enough to extend understanding and give each other a little slack.
Let’s do that. And thanks for your understanding!
With You on the Path,