Understanding Tone In A Text-Driven World

Email has brought the world closer together, allowing correspondance that once took days, if not weeks, to be delivered to be read in seconds.  Texting incorporated short, important messages to be received quickly without desisting from current operations.  Posting comments after news articles on websites gave readers the chance to involve themselves in the conversation and gave us a broader impression of the general public mindset.  While all three of these modern developments have strengthened the communicative means that humans use to interact with one another, they have also ignited arguments, ruined evenings, and led to a general tone of intolerance on many blog sites, many times for a lack of understanding rather than any true indignance.

There's a reason why people have started typing :) after their sentences on any written messages.  They need their recipient to know that what is being stated is being done in humor, jest, lightheartedness, or out of love.  I've found that my short, succinct style of emailing can sometimes be interpreted as cold, callous, or snobby, however, in reality it's just that I'm short on time.  There are times when I'm in a jam, but I want to respond to a customer quickly so that they get the information they need as soon as possible.  However, my brief and to-the-point reply comes off as dry because I didn't use the fomalities we are used to in polite society - i.e. addressing the person by name, beginning with a "thank you for your inquiry," or closing with a proper good-bye.

Where I am beginning to worry most is with comment fields on message boards.  Our last post that featured the podcast with David OG and myself is a prime example.  We had wonderful comments from some of our readers that featured a dynamic back and forth from both of us.  It was truly fantastic to see that kind of passion.  What troubles me however is when someone feels like they have to justify their commentary by reenforcing their appreciation of our site and our store.  One can be a loyal patriot of the United States yet still criticize the hell out of our government!

The point is that we shouldn't have to point out that this is civilized conversation and nothing personal.  We are all adults and we all love booze so we are all going to have passionate responses.  Please know that I am always your friend on this blog - even when I don't put a smiley face on the end of the sentence.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll