Send­ing the wrong mes­sage

FOL­LOW THE READER

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - PA­TRI­CIA SMITH

MT MARTHA, VIC FIR­ING up the com­puter to read emails has be­come a mine­field. Ev­ery day there are at least 10 ‘‘funnies’’ to laugh at (or not), plus long, newsy bul­letins or short mes­sages from friends.

Most of us email friends reg­u­larly, re­lat­ing trou­bles and tri­umphs. I don’t press the for­ward but­ton much — af­ter all, one can be­come an email pest. I like to re­ceive mar­vel­lous shots from friends’ hol­i­days — beau­ti­ful alpine scenery in Switzer­land, say, or en­tic­ing beach scenes — and pic­tures of an­i­mals, which al­ways warm my heart. But not those funnies about age­ing, which I im­me­di­ately delete. Who wants to be re­minded?

I re­ceived a YouTube clip re­cently of a flash mob dance in a Moscow square. I loved it and thought oth­ers would, too, but I was wrong.

I sent on one of the funnies to an old friend and he took ex­cep­tion. It turned out his sense of hu­mour wasn’t the same as mine, when all the time I’d thought it was.

There was an ex­change of two fur­ther emails, with both of us de­fend­ing our po­si­tions, and then that was it.

Strange how you can mis­read peo­ple af­ter so many years of think­ing you know them.

If I am sent some­thing with which I don’t agree, I just delete it. No need to com­ment or dwell on it.

Ob­vi­ously not ev­ery­one thinks like that and now I’ve lost a friend be­cause I mis­judged some­one I thought I knew. But I’ll con­tinue to look for­ward to open­ing my emails and I plan to send that flash mob dance clip on to a few more peo­ple. I thought it was just won­der­ful to see such joy­ous­ness in a Moscow square. Send your 400-word con­tri­bu­tion to our Fol­low the Reader col­umn: travel@theaus­tralian. com.au. Pub­lished colum­nists will re­ceive a $100 voucher for Colorado shoes. Colorado (now stocked by Wil­liams stores) spe­cialises in men’s and women’s life­style footwear. More: colorado.com.au; williamsshoes.com.au.

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