Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fortune Cookie Forshadows Changes

Several weeks ago, I cracked open a fortune cookie and my fortune was this: "There is no education like adversity."

It didn't take long for me to forget about the fortune and put it to the side.

Last week I decided it was time for me to invest some effort and energy into making my home office a little more "me" and so I began rearranging and decorating, taking my husband's lighthouse collection out of the room and bringing my daughter's stained glass lamp into the room. I even purchased a fun framed bulletin board to put on the wall. As I was putting everything together, I ran across the old fortune and I pinned it to the bulletin board thinking it was true enough and a good reminder of how to look at uncomfortable situations.

Yesterday and today I had an unfortunate "educational" series of exchanges with a person whom I used to call a friend. At least part of the problem stemmed from the other person not understanding how a platform like Twitter works.

I share this with you so that you may benefit from my experience.

This is what I have learned:

1. If you are active within social media, there could be misunderstandings from people who haven't acquainted themselves with the technology yet.
2. Direct conversation is best when trying to overcome misunderstandings.
3. We are not living in an age when everyone is knowledgeable about popular modes of communication. Don't assume!
4. Ask before accusing
5. People usually strike out when they feel cornered or trapped. Look for causes beyond the immediate for an explanation of why someone is striking out at you and try to be empathetic.

I'm not sure what will happen next with this situation, but I am trying to be reasonable and calm. Are you curious about your own fate? Click on the online fortune cookie...if you dare!

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