Social media post controversy – listening vs. reading

By Ande Jacobson

Over time I have learned a few things about social media posts.

First, a surprising number of people consume the stuff I write for which I am appreciative.

Second, even something I consider innocuous or even trivial can become controversial depending on the consumer’s interpretation.

Third, it’s important to take a step back and not necessarily engage at face value. A person’s response may not necessarily be directly related to what I wrote or intended but could be a response to something my writing triggered in them or to an unstated connection they made. They experienced what they experienced. They could be reacting to that with my writing acting as a catalyst for them. No matter the reason, discussion is fine, but attacks are not.

Fourth, the way language is used today, meanings seem somewhat fluid despite what the dictionary may have recorded. This unfortunately goes back to an experiment I ran at work several years ago regarding that elusive concept of “common knowledge.” Common knowledge in this case extends to the meaning of various words or terms which may not be as universal as I thought. This makes communication much more challenging and sometimes frustrating. Continue reading