Though I’m a big fan of social media, I’m not convinced that it has helped in relational conflict.
Words that are typed can not carry the emotion or inflexion that our verbal language holds. Furthermore, a typist is often far braver than he or she would have been in a face-to-face conversation or debate. This is not only true for social media, but for email and text messaging as well.
They’re powerful tools. If we’re not careful, they can lead to communication breakdown in a hurry. Soon relationships are crumbling and a community or organization is in shambles.
Regretfully, I have not always been so wise with my communication. I know the above statements to be true, because I have made the mistake of being the sender in days past.
However, in recent weeks, I have put forth a more serious effort into embracing and promoting verbal conflict resolution; instead of through typed speech. Needless to say, the feedback and sometimes pushback that I have received has been interesting, to say the least.
People will often question why I would ever want to address conflict face-to-face or through a verbal phone conversation. The thought being that since this method is difficult and stressful, it should be avoided. “Since social media is easier than actually talking to someone, shouldn’t you use that instead?“
Moreover, the assumption is that because I’m a guy who readily embracing technology, I should prefer dealing with conflict via text, email or instant message. “Since you use social media regularly, shouldn’t you also use it in times of conflict?“
It has taken longer than it should have to come to these conclusions. Nevertheless, at this point in my life, being tech-savvy has shown me the daily hurt that can be poured out from cowardly dealing with conflict over social media, email and text.
I am choosing not to hide behind a screen anymore. It just never ends well.
How have typed conflicts gone poorly in your life? How have verbal conflicts ended better?