Responding to friends on the net...

September 28, 2010

A friend of mine recently taxed me with never responding to her. This surprised me, because I consider myself very good at replying to emails. “I haven’t received a single email from you!” I said. “I’ve sent SO many!” she cried.

A little further probing revealed that she’d sent me many internet forwards.I had to explain that I do not usually respond to internet forwards, but she continued miffed.

So let me clarify….I am a people person, to use a wildly overused term. I enjoy sharing people’s thoughts and debating with them, or even communicating with them. But I generally do not respond to…

internet forwards.

Yes, I know you have thought of me and sent this to me (though even this is not certain, sometimes, in bulk emails.) But the thought in the forward is not yours, so..I will not respond.

Also, remember that I, like many others, get forwards from many friends, and sometimes I get the same forward from several! Most of the forwards I get are repeats…or re-repeats. Since I don’t want to stop getting forwards from you (the next one might be, and often is, a new, original, and amazing forward!) I will not ask you to stop…but I am not going to respond to the forward, either.

Group mails

If I am part of a group of people being emailed, I won’t respond. I don’t see the need to!

I do respond to:

Personal mails.

Gtalk pings.

YM pings

FB pings (though I am not often on Facebook.)

On Gtalk and YM, I remain invisible, because I am very poor at multitasking. I cannot handle multiple conversations, and wind up typing a recipe for lemon pickle into a conversation on existentialism, and might perhaps say “congratulations on your recent achievement!” to someone who has just been bereaved…well, I haven’t done that yet, but I am capable of doing so.

But I love Gtalk and YM chats, and love the fact that minds can meet without the trappings of dress, habits, nationality, or other ‘tags’.

I also always respond to comments on my blog, either here or on Citizen Matters. If someone is taking the effort to express their reaction to what I’ve said…I’m interested in carrying the conversation forward. Many of my online friendships are strong sources of happiness to me now.

But remember, on chat, I am not always at the laptop. I often go off to attend to other non-net things and usually I let the other person know that I am going. But sometimes the net connection prevents it from happening.

Another problem for me is sleep…around 9pm is the time I sort of die out. However interesting the conversation, my brain sort of fuddles up, the words swim in an out of my sight, and I often just nod off….so if this happens…do understand. I will apologize the next day…but that day…I am a slug as far as any meaningful conversation is concerned.

I am in fact, a person who prefers emails and chat to phone calls. On a phone call, the other person HAS to respond, whether s/he is able to or not, at the moment. With chat and email, the person can respond when s/he can, or wishes to.

Hope this clarifies my communication preferences…and please ping, or continue to ping and email me!