A women texted her husband: WINDOWS FROZEN ~ WON’T OPEN.
Her husband texted back:
GENTLY POUR SOME LUKEWARM WATER OVER THE EDGES AND THEN TAP EDGES SHARPLY WITH HAMMER
The woman texted back 5 minutes later:
THE LAPTOP IS REALLY MESSED UP NOW.
It is amazing we are able to communicate at all when you look at all the ways we can misunderstand each other. We always communicate from a perspective that includes our picture of reality. We put what we hear and say in that context. This is an example where the misunderstanding was clear at the end. It was easy for both husband and wife to think it was the other person’s mistake. Many communications we have every day have similar errors in context, and thus misunderstandings that never surface in such a clear way.
Giving even one line of context at the beginning of an email, for example, can often dramatically improve the quality of the communication and the relationship. Text messages provide even more opportunity for misunderstanding … and we have all had that experience. An example of context for the example is “I need your help with my computer.” The answer would probably have been more helpful and the relationship less strained.