Being heard

I try very hard when I write my blog posts to be as accurate as I can; to express the ideas that I hope to get across as simply and clearly as I know how.

Over the years I have had a lot of practice at this, and have often been commended for my ability to get complex topics across simply.

And yet sometimes when I read the comments on my posts I wonder why I bother. It is as if a superficial glance at my post was enough to trigger a fully formed opinion that had been waiting to be expressed by the commenter – whether it was related to my post or not!

Especially if this is the first comment it often triggers a full on debate which could have bugger all to do with what I actually said in the first place. This invariably leaves me feeling like I’m trying to stop a runaway train with my futile attempts fueling the erroneous debate rather than successfully pulling it back on track.

This happens all the time all over the Internet and appears to be getting worse rather than better.

Clearly much of the responsibility lies with those of us who choose to write a post in the first place. The onus is on us to make our best efforts to be understandable and hopefully add some value to our readers.

But we all share a responsibility as to how we respond to other people’s posts. Have we taken the time to properly read them, have we fully understood their meaning, will our contribution support a relevant discussion or simply satisfy our desire to get on our latest hobbyhorse?

We can learn to do better and when we do we may be able to hear each other for the first time.