Don’t try this at home, really. Just don’t.
When I first came across one of those sites that allow you to create your own motivational poster, I thought about throwing a screenshot into the picture and adding some pithy remark as a clever way to send out a little “reminder” concerning tech-etiquette and use. Yesterday, with tongue firmly in cheek, I threw one of these picto-barbs into our shared faculty conference and learned a hard lesson. It’s almost impossible in this environment to define the difference between sarcasm that’s funny and sarcasm that mean.
I waited long time to use this particular “tech-tip” in a motivational poster because I did not want to make an example of someone “responding to all” in an routine post. It would be obviously hurtful, making an example of a poor soul who just clicked “respond” and cluttered the mailbox by making as all read their compliment to the mom or dad who shared photos of their newborn. So when I saw a thread of banter about plans for a faculty dessert social during lunch I thought it was the perfect opportunity. This was already a humorous conversation, the original call for teachers to get-together had been followed by joke messages that were “respond”s so everyone could read them. I thought if I posted my little riposte it would be taken in the same vein of light humor.
Although several teachers thanked me for reminding people (again) that “reply to sender” keeps the conference lean and easy to follow, some took offense. How could I be so mean? I have since spoken with the few who voiced their concerns to me directly and it took no more than a minute to clear the air and we are back to making fun of each other. But who knows how many others did not talk to me about, concluding on their own that I’m an arrogant tech-bully.
I should have thrown a smiley 🙂 at the bottom of the message, Lightening the collateral damage, that’s my the emoticon was invented.
Still, the motivational tech tip is a great idea. And for once, it’s original.