Splain it to Me | Status 451

Really interesting essay on culture clashes between widely different communication styles.

Here’s a series of events that happens many times daily on my favorite bastion of miscommunication, the bird website. Person tweets some fact. Other people reply with other facts. Person complains, “Ugh, randos in my mentions.” Harsh words may be exchanged, and everyone exits the encounter thinking the other person was monumentally rude for no reason.

While some folks in some circles make hay over “well-actuallys” and being “splained to” by “randos,” seeing such replies as bad-faith social posturing or indicative of deep-seated bias, more often than not I chalk up the friction to, like our yelling New Yorker being taken for rude, cross-cultural communication breakdown. The dynamics at play behind “ugh, randos” are so pernicious because it isn’t a simple problem of definitions or message integrity, but different views on what communication is or is for. What it often comes down to is people with fundamentally different, perhaps totally irreconcilable, values systems assuming “malice or stupidity” where the real explanation is values mismatch and miscommunication.

Splain it to Me | Status 451

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