The limitations of AIM
I hurt someone Friday without meaning to. I'm not sure exactly what I did. I can only guess. My guess is that I didn't acknowledge him when he came online. I didn't notice him there because I had my speakers turned off so no AIM buddy door open sound was heard. I was engrossed in reading an article and didn't see his name pop up on my buddy list.
My guess is that I hurt him by not appearing to care enough to greet him. I have felt this myself at times when others don't greet me, so I feel I could be projecting myself and my own experiences onto how he feels. Usually when I feel this way, it disappears the moment I realize that they may be doing other things. For me it's more that I get a feeling that I'm not worth caring about. It's how I view myself at times. It's a feeling that I forcibly shake off. It's not that they don't care, because they do. I know that.
I feel bad that I hurt my online buddy. I did it inadvertantly. It's a limitation of written communication, a confinement of AIM. He can't SEE the regret in my eyes. He can't hear the care in my voice. He can't even feel the touch of my hand that I want to reach out to him. It's not the same as face to face conversation. He can only see my words, which are shoddy at best. It's taken me three days of reworking this and still I stumble. I can't make him see with these keystrokes what the nuances on my face would show him in an instant. I do care. I care about all of my online friends. I've been told that they are not "real" friends by those that believe the computer is bad. BAH! I tell them. Penpals are not real friends either by those standards. They don't understand that you make friends by sharing yourself with others. ALL friends are made that way. But, I see how they could think that because they say you can't hug an online friend. Maybe not, but the feeling is still there.
Misunderstandings abound in the world of AIM. It's a limitation of the system. I am not a mind reader. I'm a face reader. Tell me your feelings since I can't see them. I will do my best to tell you mine. Just pardon me for tripping over the words. FORGIVE the limitations of the system. FORGIVE me.
/me hugs my online friends.
It may not FEEL the same, but the FEELINGS are still there.
I will be honest, I was unsure whether this should be its own node or a personal log, so I asked someone....It was suggested that it needed tweaking, to write less of the personal angle and make it more meta-personal. Then it would be an OK node. A good suggestion to be sure. I tried but it lost all of the feeling I wanted to convey. It became dry and cold. It defeated my purpose. It had no emotion. My frustration with AIM is that it is hard to express emotion. Therefore... I can not cut out the personal.