Day 176 – 46.1 km (total – 3901.3 km)
For the first time in almost 3 weeks of hitchhiking and over 35 people picking me up, the first female stopped to give me a ride. Jean is likely in her 70’s and she told me she passed by me the first time but looped around to pick me up because I looked like a “clean-cut gentleman”. I’ll give credit to yesterday’s shower for that one. She drove me back to my start point in Desbarats, which I butchered as I said it. Apparently it’s just pronounced Deborah. As I explained what I was doing, she made an observation that in her opinion, it was tough to emit emotions through emailing and texting.
How many times have you misinterpreted someone’s tone in an email? Or at the very least, read into their tone only to discover it was just you “projecting”? I have done this far too often… I tend to dissect texts and emails far more than I should, attempting in some manner to attach the writer’s tone. I don’t think I’m alone in this. In the book I’m reading, research has been done to indicate a disconnect between how we communicate in person and how we communicate online. In fact, one of the unfortunate statistics is that we tend to be nastier online than we are in person. Part of this has to do with online forums where you can remain anonymous, but I can attest personally to writing emails with a more aggressive tone than I would ever have were I talking to that actual person. I’m not necessarily saying this is a good or bad thing, but it’s been interesting to hear opinion after opinion over the past 5 months that we’re becoming poorer communicators, at least in person.
I’m thankful for my interaction with Jean today. She shook my hand and wished me luck while looking me in the eyes. It was an exchange I will not soon forget.