Thursday, April 8, 2010

From the Wolf Den: Wordsmithing

I like words. Reading them, writing them, rolling their meaning around and around as I delve into a particular context. Words are my world, and when computer technology as a tool for communication complicated the business of words, I had some 'splainin to do.

Remember when email first came out, and no one knew the rules? Rules like typing in all caps meant one was virtually shouting at the recipient, or not using any capital letters at all in the interest of quick response, as if the message would somehow disappear if we didn't respond right now? Sometimes communication becomes murky when we stare at a message from another individual and the meaning is not altogether clear. I cannot see the person, thus I cannot tell what he or she was feeling at the time the message was created. Was he/she angry? Happy? Tired that day? Not understanding the format? Too often I have hit the Reply button too quickly. Shot first and asked questions later, with frantic back pedalling into apologies and misunderstandings.

I wonder if this might be how Wolf sees people. Since his brain cannot process facial expressions or social cues, perhaps he sees people as an email; a slate of words on paper with no emotion attached. Stark, black-on-white, just simply there.

We all had to digest the social mores attached to email and social networking lest we fall behind. Kids with Asperger's must learn, too, how to look, listen, and respond appropriately. Patience, world. It took a years for computer etiquette to become the norm. It will take at least that long for Wolf.

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