display | more...
This is getting ridiculous. It seems that people are avoiding dealing with their emotions more and more by use of e-mail.

Of course, e-mail resolves all of the issues that we face when we've planned out an important conversation in our head, and some outside force causes it to go wrong. Of course we can say exactly what we mean to say, and not have to worry that a ringing phone or roommate walking by will ruin the message the recipient receives. Of course e-mail allows the perfect, well thought-out wording to be passed on without flaw ... but leaves out the most important part -- the emotion.

What the hell am I talking about?
This morning I received an e-mail from a very good friend telling me that her roommate was killed the night before. I still don't know the logistics of this -- car accident? I don't know. She could have called me at home or at work, but instead, she took the easiest route of writing me an e-mail. I'm sure she is very emotional right now and knows that she would break-down when she heard my voice ... but still. This was a completely inappropriate use of e-mail.

On a lighter, but still serious, side ...
I know of many people who are using e-mail to ask others out on dates, I know of one woman who broke up with her long-term boyfriend via e-mail, I know of another woman who used e-mail to tell my friend that "she needed more space" in their relationship.

In this age where we rely so heavily on electronic communication, there are certain subjects that should really be left for face to face conversations, or at the very least, over the phone when this is not possible.

How can you ask someone out and be sure that they understand that it is a date and not just a platonic thing? In person, the other would be able to see the little creases around your eyes that mean you are trying not to smile too much, would be able to hear the nervous inflections in your voice.

How can you end a relationship this way, either? It seems so cheating of you. You've been in this relationship for how long? and now, you sneak out, use a messenger, avoid showing your emotions at all costs.

And then there's just plain, damn inappropriate, like the message I received today. I understand that this was easier for her, but she did not realize how much it affected me. It brings up a million questions that I can't have answered immediately, it makes me panic, makes the air slam in all around me.

No, e-mail is not for everything. It is a wonderful tool, but it still just can't replace human interaction.
Well here's one every geek out there knows and loves.

Can also manifest itself in the forms:

  • hiding your emotions behind irc
  • hiding your emotions behind icq

The jury is still out there on whether expressing your emotions electronically is good or not. I happen to believe that it's the same as doing it any other way; there is both a good side and a bad side.

good side:
The various forms of communication available on the internet all posess a commonality in that they lessen the fear someone might experience at the thought of rejection. It is this safety from alienation that allows people to express themselves to a greater extent through electronic means.

I know this is true because I spent the better part of my high school life talking to a friend whom I'd never met IRL but knew for several years on irc, receiving counselling on various personal problems. We discussed everything ranging from girls to goth culture, and I gained much valuable insight into life. The lack of a "face across the table" gave me the ability to say things that I wouldn't normally say, and the time it took me to type something gave me a chance to think about what I was saying and really explore what I felt.

bad side:
The fact that you can hide behind a screen/alias/nick/uin may give people the courage to pull things out of themselves that they normally wouldn't, but the fact of the matter is that these things might not be constructive. The aforementioned lack of a "face across the table" sometimes causes people not to think before they type, saying things they probably wouldn't IRL, and for good reason.

Also, the time it takes to type also prevents people from blurting out things that they normally wouldn't say because of shyness, defensiveness, or just general discontent. All of this adds up to provide a hole that someone can hide in, masking their true emotions and stifiling any chance they may have at improving their situation.

All in all, I believe that using electronic communication to provide some sort of emotional cover can be a good thing, when used properly.

You have the power, use it wisely.

Sidenote: This is my very first node. Please be gentle :)

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.