Look at the image below and see if you can read what it says. I’m sure most of you must have already attempted this little optical illusion puzzle some time or the other in your over 10 years of "www" experience!

Remember the trick? You need to back off a bit from the screen, squinting a little -- just close your eyes about 90% -- the idea is to make the image go “out of focus”. (I wear glasses, so it’s easy for me. I just take them off and the image is nicely “out of focus”, and I can easily read what it says!)

Had fun then, didn’t you? But did you realize something? The image is sitting right in front of your eyes all along, but unless & until you look at it from *just the right angle*, you get a completely distorted version of it! In other words, you need to have the right *perspective* to see the image correctly!

Oh, but we all already know this fact, don’t we? We’ve been doing puzzles like these for years now! We are pros at this!

And yet, we completely forget this principle when it comes to interacting with people in our lives, or dealing with situations in our life!

We look at something with a certain perspective, and suppose we don’t like what we see. What do we do? We BLOW OFF! We simply refuse to pause for a moment and think about the possibility of there being a different perspective! We just take the first interpretation that our mind offers us… which could be completely off-track for all we know… and off we go… like those “Rocket bikes” in the movie “Dhoom”!

For example, all of us know (theoretically at least) that it’s difficult to gauge the true meaning of a message received through an “impersonal medium” – like an SMS or an email or a text chat (or even a “snail mail”) – because the “words” of the message are not “backed up” with the “tell-tale” tone of voice or facial expressions or the body language of the sender.

In fact, emails and letters at least allow you to complete what you want to say, before the other person starts replying… but with SMS & chats, even THAT is a problem! You don’t even wait to let the other person complete his message, before you “pounce” on it, with a completely wrong perspective of course, and then blow your head off through the roof, at the sight of “a-horribly-distorted-version-of-an-incomplete-picture”… that YOU created yourself!

“Effective communication” was a part of my first semester syllabus for this PGDBA thing that I’m currently doing. It mentioned something called “media richness”… but I’m sure all my intelligent and highly educated readers are already aware of what this term means!

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Shreesh said...

I had quite a trouble reading that. but finally managed to get the right angle n DAMN! well it was funny too. what you sai dabout prespective is correct.I shall remember the ANGLE phenomenon from now on. This post seems to be a good mnemonic to remember about the ANGLE oflooking at things. We need to change angle so as to broaden out vison n prespective. GOOD ONE KADDU KEEP COMMING LIKE THIS more often.

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

I did it without taking my glasses off! Yay!! It took me full 20 seconds though. That can't be good. But its not bad either!

True. 'Electronic' communication can become very frustrating at times. Its convenient, but its not very quick when what one wants to communicate are thoughts and feelings, not holiday pics. Unless the person knows you really well, you often have to spend many precious minutes explaining yourself and your intentions so that you don't end up inadvertently hurting her because she couldn't see your face while you 'said' it. Webcams are NO solution.

Kaddu said...

@ Shreesh:

Well funny! Considering the fact that YOU are the one who taught ME about perspectives in the first place! (Remember my long testimonial on your orkut profile?)

Ok then... I suppose you can refer more of your students to this post if you feel they have similar issues! :-p

Kaddu said...

@ Abhiroop:

Welcome to my blog dude! Although I'm sure, like most other strangers-dropping-by-on-my-blog, yours will also be a "one-time" visit probably! :-)

But you know, you just painted only ONE scenario of the hassles of electronic communication!

Think about what would happen if the person on the other hand "BELIEVES" he knows you very well, and therefore considers himself eligible for jumping to assumptions, which are far from the truth in reality! Because the reality is that he doesn't know you that well enough!

You mention "hurting HER"... well there are usually more of "HIM" situations I would say... when it's the guys EGO that gets hurt, based on incomplete messages received without the correct perspective!

And then obviously, being the infamous male EGO that it is, it would simply refuse to accept that it made a mistake, and that you ought to apologize to the lady!

("Apologize? Who me? Hahhh! You must be out of your mind! How can I apologize for something I haven't even done! I am the EGO remember, and a male one at that... and male EGOs don't make mistakes!")

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Hi Kaddu (funny screen name!)
Its good to be on your blog, thanks for the welcome! I intend to visit regularly.

Now this isn't fair. We're talking about *generic* E-communication and you condemn half the human race as incorrigible ego maniacs :D

When I said 'she/her' I was being politically correct actually. It doesn't matter what sex the person at the end other end belongs to. It can be a pain anyhow!

Person assumes he knows you and then takes offense because you didn't quite match his mental image of you? Tricky!
Immature, over confident (egoistic?) people get royally pissed when it happens. IAF policy I guess. Ignore And Forget. R'ships (of any kind) get botched like this often, but then these people aren't really worth being around anyway I guess. I speak from bitter experience!

Kaddu said...

@ "you condemn half the human race as incorrigible ego maniacs :D"

Well, I just stated a fact... that's all! :-p And 'Kaddu' has been my nick-name for 2 decades now! I decided I wanna stick with it as my pen-name!

Relationships are interesting... despite their ups n downs! All of them... with friends, with parents, with siblings...! In fact they seem really funny when u eventually get around to "looking back" on them! :-))

Funny world! Funny people! I guess I'm in a funny mood right now!

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