Friday, June 19, 2009

To say or not to say - that's the question, really?!

"I cannot believe you did not tell me this all these days!!''
''You knew but never told me ??''
''When did you first know this ??''

Sound familiar ? If it does, then you would know exactly what I am talking about. There are 2 things about information - the content, and the one that seems less important but causes trouble more than one would expect is ''the temporal'' factor. So it is not just important to give news but when you deliver it is of paramount importance as well !! I can understand this w.r.t work since everything revolves around deadlines but when one takes this into the realm of personal life it simply becomes impossible to keep track of communication especially when it is complicated by a timeline, not to mention the time zones that make it all the more spicy !

Consider the simple example of one getting engaged....obviously there is a whole list of people who are going to get invited for the wedding but how soon does one tell everyone ''informally'' about the engagement ? it would be simple to post it in a social forum (like facebook or orkut) to let all friends know.....isn't it ?.....well you would think so ! Then comes an email from a friend saying she (it could be a ''he'' too) was shocked that she had to find out this way and that she wasnt informed personally.....then you would think about sending an email blast to your friends....but then comes the next fone call from a friend who says ''why couldn't you give me a call''? Then you are stuck wondering if you are going to spend all the time with your fiance or informing people about him ! never ends, does it ?

But there is a next level to this problem...what if the information does not even concern you ? Lets say you know a friend, A, who just broke up with his/her fiancee/fiance and the planned wedding is not even happening anymore but this is not something you are going to shout from the roof top. What happens when another friend, B, asks you about the wedding ? Well, in that case, I would try to get out of it diplomatically and not reveal anything to B about A because it is simply not my business ! Secondly, there is something similar to ''attorney-client privilege'' that made A trust me with the information and I want to be true to that trust. Does A want B to know now or later or not at all - very simply, it is A's choice....I do not even come into the picture.

It doesn't end there. B raises the question of trust w.r.t you sharing the information about A since your relationship with B warrants that trust....oh...dear....well, my answer here would be if B has so much faith in our relationship then he/she will already know to respect my discretion and not hold it against me. This probably sounds logical (unfortunately to very few people) and paradoxical to the others. This is probably where benefit of doubt is most required !

If you are too inquisitive and want to know everything - good or bad- about everyone all the time, then either you were the brains behind wikipedia or you simply have too much time - go get a life and/or do something worthwhile !
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