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From: segaloco via TUHS <>
To: The Eunuchs Hysterical Society <>
Subject: [TUHS] Historic "Communications Etiquette" Practices?
Date: Sat, 23 Dec 2023 16:56:28 +0000	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)

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Good time of day folks, I often ponder on people's attachments to pixels on the screen that come about by clicking *this* icon and typing in a box surrounded by blue and with an icon in position <xyz> vs pixels on the screen that come about instead by opening that application that is a black border with a little paper airplane button in the bottom right vs....etc.

To make it more clear, I find myself often confused at people treating email different from SMS different from social media DMs different from forum posts different from some other mechanism that like literally all the others is pixels arranged into glyphs on a screen conveying an approximation of human speech. This difference among these different ways to send said pixels to people has eluded me all my life despite working with technology since I was a tot.

What this has me curious on is if in the early days of UNIX there were attempts at suggesting which provided communication mechanisms were appropriate for what. For instance something that smells of:

It is appropriate to use mail(1) to send a review of a piece of work vs it is appropriate to use write(1) to ask Jim if he wants to take a lunch break before the big meeting. Did this matter to people back then like it seems to now? To me it's just pixels on a screen that are there when I look at them and aren't when I don't.

Truth be told I am hoping to learn something from this because I only do a couple email lists and web forums, my social life generally does not involve SMS, phone calls, nor social media. Where it has become tedious is someone I meet who seems to want to communicate over pixels on screens is then put off when I provide them an email address, usually asking instead if I have a Facebook or whatever the kids are calling Twitters today. The few times I've tried to explain email will be me transmitting you communication as pixel glyphs on a screen just like anything else would be me transmitting you communication as pixel glyphs on the screen, this doesn't diffuse their concerns any, they then just think there is something wrong with me for comparing words as pixels on a screen to words as pixels on a screen. Granted, I've probably avoided plenty of vapid people this way, but it feels like it's becoming more and more expected that "these pixels on the screen in *this* program are only for this and those pixels on the screen in *that* program are only for that".

Is this a recent phenomenon? Has communication over electronic means always had these arbitrary limitations hoisted on it by the humans that use it? Or did people not give a hoot what you sent over what program and actually cared more about the words you're saying than the word you typed at a terminal to then be able to transmit words? I doubt what I learn is going to royally change my approach to allowing technology in my irl social life, but it would be nice to at least have more mental ammo when someone asks to be friends online and then gives me mad sideeye when I go "sure here's my email address!"

- Matt G.

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             reply	other threads:[~2023-12-23 16:57 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 2+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2023-12-23 16:56 segaloco via TUHS [this message]
2023-12-23 19:46 ` [TUHS] " Paul Winalski

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