This past week or so I’ve come to realize why I have over the years developed the habit of listening more, talking less. It’s sounds like a good rule, as many could stand to stop talking so much, but I developed this primarily to avoid feelings of regret due to saying (or writing) dumb or misconstrued crap. Afterwards I would also suffer from an over-analysis of the things I should have said but didn’t.
That’s what happened recently on twitter. First was my expression of amazement that people still read magazines enough to actually subscribe; part of my exasperation that my son taking part in a magazine subscription donation drive to raise money ostensively for his school. I wasn’t interested in buying and from my experience selling subscriptions over 25 years ago, it’s an extremely hard sell. Anyway, my tone was off and I received a quick rebuke from a parent who was likely a supporter of the initiative.
The other incident was a short commentary on my experience at various gatherings throughout the city – again a question of tone. The reaction in this case was far more conciliatory, which made me regret my post more. There needs to be an edit button.
Perhaps the fact that when I sit down to write, it’s still early in the AM, when the effects of caffeine are at their strongest has some influence. I’ve turned off auto-complete, which should force me to take the time to think, but that hasn’t had any meaningful effect.
We all should take the time to think before we write, some like me should perhaps stay away from the immediacy of twitter et al., lest I come across as the cranky old curmudgeon I may one day become.