”What did I answer then?” I asked
“Why that tone of authority?” replied a friend of mine.
Even after many years, these words rattle in my mind, with abated frequency though. “Tone of authority…” an intense accusation! I didn’t mean what I was misread and misheard for. Ever since that day, I have so wished that the text messages had a voice that could convey the right tone and flavor in which something is said.
Busy our lives are! The old school ways of keeping in touch with people through meeting and talking are now replaced by text messages. We choose to use chat messengers over everything else. Come on, give it to it. It’s convenient and I agree. But incidentally, in the background, it takes away a lot from us. Like many others, I have been at both, the sending and receiving end. And I know how smoggy it feels when you are misunderstood or when you misconstrue.
“oh, I didn’t mean to say this”.. “You are taking it in a wrong direction” etc. etc. It’s funny to think that the aeons old saying “words once spoken cannot be taken back” should now be rephrased as “words once typed and sent cannot be taken back”.
Some days ago, I received a text from a friend that said “you are sooooooo wrong!” and this sentence was followed by two smileys like this 🙂 :). I stood muddled – How do I interpret it as? Was it a mere casual mention or something severe? Was she upset or not? It took me a while to ‘assume’ what she meant. And as Benjamin Franklin has said ‘despair ruins some, presumption many’, I preferred to have a dialogue than just live with an ambiguous thought about the situation and myself. Trust me you, it helped! We both laughed at the end of the chat and I had a good sound sleep that night.
I have seen associations getting dismantled, gradually, because, somewhere they couldn’t sustain the digital ways – texts and emails. And I wonder, how much can one express through texts, how much can one write? What about the words that want to mean something but are taken for a different meaning? What about the words that never get a chance to come out only, for not everyone can write what they want to say? I am an old school girl, I believe all problems exist in the absence of a good conversation. So my dear friends, dare to start a vocal dialog that matters because it will be worth it in the end. Sometimes, there’s a lot beyond what our minds can perceive!