there is a part of me that longs for the day we do this all on webcams. the other part says i don't want to get out of my bathrobe to do it
i think we constantly misunderstand each other. most of the time it gets worked out. sometimes the working it out only leads to more confusion. people will always project their own interpretations into any communication. the written word offers more chance of this than the spoken word. inflection and tone help to minimize it.
also, without visual cues, we don't know near as much about the writer. sometimes this is good. we learn to like people for who they are in their expression rather than the way they look. other times it gets in the way. we make assumptions about people that confuse the whole process of communication.
and since we are using English, well anybody that wants to communicate with me is, it is often hard to know just how well the other person understands it. Is the reason that they don't tell you everything because they don't know how, or is it that just like to speak in some internet language they and their friends have developed? or are they really as uneducated as they sound? or do they not understand me because i am using the wrong words given their mastery level?
I think one reason i like this site is because most people here attempt to communicate on a mature level without getting obnoxiously intellectual in the process. people are generally accepting of not understanding and are willing to discuss thru it.
for me, one of the more interesting aspects of the internet is not always what people say, but rather what they hide. what people hesitate to reveal is often as revealling as what they admit to.
oh, and smilies help