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Would You Say it in Person?

If you belong to a Yahoo Group, how many times have you read a post that seems to be a bit condescending or rude?

Maybe a moderator jumped on you for some reason, like not trimming a reply. If you changed the subject line or hijacked a thread, this may also caused you to receive a 'reprimand'.

Were your feelings hurt? Did you vow never to post again or just leave that Group?

I can relate if any of these things happened to you or if you saw it happen to someone else. When I was new to Yahoo Groups, I got 'jumped on' by a moderator for not trimming a reply. (I never posted to that group again and soon left it.)

I belong to a lot of groups. On some of them I am just a member and since I don't know as much about the subject matter as the majority of the groups members, I tend to lurk and learn what I can. I recently saw a response post from a member who just lashed out at one of the posters, as the member felt insulted and obviously was very upset.

I have to admit, I was a bit shocked at the response post which was really vitolic in nature. This started me to thinking. (Dangerous!)

Would this person have said such things if the two members were directly speaking to one another in person? I really doubt it. The post in question was written by a very knowlegeable person and perhaps did come across as condescending. However the poster was trying to let the upset person know what he/she needed to do in order to solve the initial question.

The problem is, words on paper or on a computer screen do not convey tone or body language.

Read each sentence below with emphasis on the word in all caps.

I heard you the first time.

I HEARD you the first time.

I heard YOU the first time.

While the words all convey the same meaning, emphasis seems to change it a bit. That 'bit' can make some folks 'see' a post differently than others may see it.

If I write a long post (and sometimes I can get 'wordy) I usually read it over before I send it. I have on occasion deleted that reposnse as I felt it might be taken the wrong way.

The point I am trying to make is this; we never know how we might 'sound' to someone else. Tone and body language doesn't come through in email. So bottom line, read it over before you send it. Just in case.