Sometimes, noise is just noise…
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Not too long ago, my daughter and I waltzed into our local Starbucks for a coffee and a pastry. I really can’t put my finger on why we love going there so much, it just fills in when a certain mood strikes. There is a camaraderie and silence, almost a benevolence about it. Anyway, it is a special indulgence we enjoy, and have for many years. This particular day, however, there was much noise and disruption.
There was a party of three that entered shortly after us: an older woman, a younger woman and a young boy. English was not the older woman’s first language but she was familiar with the joy that is Starbucks, this was not a new event for her. However – I must say, she spoiled it for everyone. She yelled over people, she shuffled and shoved, she gave orders to other members of her party, and she rushed the baristas, she crowded out others at the napkins and she failed to hear what others were saying around her. In short, she ruined the morning and the mood for many people that day.
While she understood what Starbucks did, she misunderstood what Starbucks was all about.
However, anyone would have been hard pressed to convince her of that. She had the world on a string, a tiger by the tale, and the wrath of almost everyone in the place. My daughter mumbled under her breath several times and looked at me wonderingly; after several minutes of the disruptive nonsense, I finally said something aloud, but to no avail. Clearly clueless, this woman kept on with her ignorant ways until she had succeeded in annoying everyone in the place.
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Similar Ignorance Exists in Social Media
There are people who use social media in a similar fashion. They ignore protocol and storm around like they are chasing tornados with no apparent consequences. It can be very frustrating to those who have seemingly figured it out or who have decided to sit back and lurk a bit, until they have figured it. Before you go to the races, understand the protocol. Before you sit down to the fancy dinner, figure out the forks. Before you double dip, make sure no one else’s celery stick is stopping by. Before you answer the phone, you should probably be prepared to talk. Before you fly over the rainbow, make sure you have wings.
It doesn’t seem like a difficult concept, and yet, for far too many, it is.
Use Your Brain
There is no code of Facebook Honor or a Ten Commandments of Twitter. I just try to be as smart as the “profiles” around me. Birds of a feather and all. Yes, this is still sort of new. Yes, the rules constantly evolve, as does the technology but, seriously, the fingers tapping away on that keyboard are somehow responding to a brain’s suggestion. Use your brain. Take a look around you, know your surroundings, know your audience. If you don’t understand what’s going on, if you can’t add anything intelligent, don’t add anything at all. Mark Twain’s admonishment about keeping your fool mouth closed is easily transferrable to typing hands. “It is better to be thought a lurking fool, then to type something and remove all doubt.”
by Rayanne Thorn