I was immersed in an article on my iPhone, reading and savoring, the afternoon dropping away in silence, night soon to swallow the remaining light with its wintery chill and also its comforts – my hands, wrapped around a cup of Earl Grey; the careful review of my day’s accomplishments; a few additional hours of work, and then the warmth of my covers, settling at last into bed.
Responding to the sound of an incoming email, I tapped to see the message that awaited. Color me cockeyed – I was jolted by ALL CAPS IN THE SUBJECT LINE, MORE CAPS IN THE MESSAGE CONTENT, and this cacophony was compounded by not two, not three, not four, but FIVE exclamation points!!!!!
May I say that the stillness of my mood was pierced, though no actual sound was heard?
That no human voice was attached is irrelevant. I processed the experience as noisy, rude, and interference, as disturbing as any other sort of shouting. I immediately deleted the email.
Was it from someone I know? Possibly. The end result is the same, of course. The communication was utterly ineffective. Whatever its intent, it gets an EPIC FAIL (excuse the caps).
Please… Do. Not. Shout.
Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not in email, not in your comments and discussions online. Good manners are good manners… in the “real world” or our virtual communities. We who read are neither deaf nor dumb, and we don’t aspire to being either.
Caps and exclamation points should be the exception – for expressing outrage, jubilation, for getting our attention when something is absolutely critical. Otherwise?
Speak softly and carry some common sense.
I am now stepping (gently) down from my soapbox, and tending to some deadlines on hand. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoyed the guest writers for both the Mother-Daughter Series and the Father-Son Series as much as I.
My sincere thanks to the talented writers who participated. It was a pleasure for me to “host” you, an honor to “edit” you, and I extend the welcome to continue the conversation on topics of interest at your sites as well as here.
And remember, while silence may not always be golden, good manners – even on the web – are.
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