Listening is Reading on the Internet

Yesterday ManuDS wrote a post about listening, or more accurately how we don’t listen.  I agreed wholeheartedly with it.

I have always considered myself a good listener.  In fact my job’s primary function is listening.  I work in a call center.  But on the internet, listening is translated into reading comprehension.

And I think the issue that ManuDS brings up are amplified on the internet when reading someone’s thoughts.   I hang out in places like wordpress, tumblr, twitter and reddit where you can interact – leave comments.  But I also am not as good a “listener” on the internet as I am in real life.

On the internet, I can skim.  Or I can read until I get to place where it sparks a thought I want to express and I can just skip down and comment.  I’ve done that.

I just caught myself condemning someone who started his comment with, I didn’t read the whole post, but I wanted to comment on… And then I stopped myself and thought – well at least he’s honest about it.  I’ve done it before and not confessed.


Everyone wants to be heard.  Its a form of validation.  And humans NEED validation.  People often condemn it, but its just nature and its necessary to our self definition, to our feelings of security, to our sense of place.  Everyone does it.

The internet, or at least the places where I live on the internet, is one large attempt to gain some validation.  To have our identity recognized through our thoughts, our humor, our fandom.  But it is also a place that can slowly degrade your identity, because people may not really be seeing, reading, comprehending.

I think I will attempt to be more aware of the person on the other side of the words on the screen.  To read the words like I’m listening to the person. To not comment unless I have fully comprehended the ideas and views of the person who wrote them.  There is enough static in the ether to fuzz out most of us, my refusing to try doesn’t need to add to the fuzziness.statelibqld_2_179487_doris_auguste_heindorff_listening_to_a_gramophone_new_farm_brisbane_1903-1913

5 thoughts on “Listening is Reading on the Internet

  1. Your post presents the whole idea of not listening well in social media today, in a very exact manner. I agree with it. By the end of such a conversation, the two parties are not properly aware of what’s been actually meant or said. And it leads to assumptions and negative views. Listening is an art, it should be mastered with one’s mind properly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am the great skimmer. There are bloggers I no longer read because they are not concise and articulate with their words and when I get to the end of 2000 words I have no idea with the point was. I do read posts from bloggers that don’t include irrelevant tangents and bunny trails. Sure sounds like I’m throwing the onus back on the writer. Sometimes it’s me (I know I need to be more patient) and sometimes…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good post. The listening problem is truly an epidemic shared by all of us. Many are not listening as they are waiting for their moment to speak, which the other person won’t listen to, either. So, communication is lacking. Thanks for sharing this, Keith


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