Friday, October 2, 2009

Worms, Roxanne, Worms!

These days, everybody's got an outlet for their opinions. If they're not blogging, they're Twittering and if they're not Twittering, they're Facebooking, letting anyone with a connection to the World Wide Interwebs expound on any number of topics that tickle their fancy (if that's your idea of a good time.)

But there are many things that are difficult to convey in online communication. For instance, there are no emoticons for sarcasm or irony.

For example, if I'm chatting with a friend over coffee and say something like "Sarah Palin would make an excellent President," he would know by my tone of voice & facial expression that I'd rather slide down a bannister made of razor blades into a tub of bactine than see Palin in the White House.

But if I put the same thing on Twitter, I'm going to get hundreds of responses questioning my well I should.

It all comes down to tone. There is no tone in a status update. While you may post about being a little blue on a Monday, what people read is that you're 5 seconds away from slitting your wrists.

So be careful. Words have power and you can alarm or anger people without knowing or intending to do so. Just to prove my point, I'll leave you with one more example. I'll type a sentence that, without tone or context, should freak people out. Ready? Here goes:

"Roman Polanski would be an excellent Teen Choice Awards host."

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