Virtual Road Rage

Before I write about any topics, I want to establish something.

Learning how to effectively communicate matters. And frankly, as a culture, we’re losing it.

There are many factors as to why… social media is, far and away, number one. How many times do we read posts and comments from others that they wouldn’t dare to say in person? As for myself, I usually try to keep it diplomatic on social media, but my comments can sometimes wander into that territory.

It’s kinda like road rage, only the former takes place behind the computer screen, while the latter behind the wheel. Whether you’re honking your horn and throwing up your hands (and perhaps a finger) at another driver, or you’re responding to a post from a “friend” with obvious sarcasm and condescension, you’re communicating something. And it ain’t super productive, except for MAYBE feeling satisfying to the ego in the moment.

But. Who’s lived through a flash of road rage, and then, come to find out that this person, whom you were blowing your top over a couple of minutes ago, is now pulling in right beside you at your place of work? Or at a doctor’s appointment? Your kid’s school?

Oops.

I don’t know about anyone else, but remembering those few moments in time help keep me in line both on the road – and online.

Cause the thing is, communication is far more than just words or actions. Behind the wheel, there are no words and very little human interaction; in the moment, it’s between you and another car. It’s “the car” doing something stupid on the road that could possibly result in an accident. And behind the computer, there are just words on a flat screen – there’s no body language, tone, or facial expression to convey additional meaning. That person could be standing in line at the DMV, sitting on the toilet at work, or (also very likely) sitting with a loved one at the dining room table. Your verbal tete a tete? Barely reality.

So, where am I going with this? Well, I’m going to be writing a lot of things on here. Inevitably, things that people will vehemently disagree with – and that is totally cool. Because listen, effective communication is key to the quality of our lives – in our relationships, in our careers, in our parenting, and ultimately, in our world. I welcome disagreement and, in fact, encourage it!

And yet. While I want to keep it real, I also want to discourage engaging in virtual road rage on here.

[Deep breaths]

Come on. We can do it, you guys.

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