Sometimes you can’t make things up.
Earlier this month, I cross-posted an article from BBC News about the dying art of ‘sea silk’. I thought it would make interesting background for a story.
Honestly, I didn’t think much of it.
Imagine my surprise when I got this comment on my Facebook page.
XXXXXX XXXX THE ARTICLE IS WRONG. 1) Nella nostra isola, Sant’Antioco, ci sono anche altre donne che lavorano il bisso!!!! 2) La pinna nobilis è protetta (Direttiva 92/43 “Habitat” della Comunità Europea, allegato IV) e NESSUNO può tagliare il bisso della pinna nobilis, IT’S PROHIBITED!!! 3) Non esiste nessuna maledizione sul bisso!
(Translation Provided by the Facebook Algorithms)
The article is wrong. 1) in our island, Sant Antioco, there are also other women who work the bisso!!!! 2) the fin nobilis is protected (Directive 92/43 “Habitat” of the European community, Annex IV) and nobody can cut the bisso of fin nobilis, it’s prohibited!!! 3) there is no curse on bisso!
Now you have to realize that with a few exceptions, my Facebook posts are open. I’ll stand by what I post. This woman’s comment took be a back. Firstly, you’d think that she’d understand that Italian is not my first, second, or third language. Thanks to living in Portugal, I could read the basics.
Secondly, I’m simply cross-posting and interesting article. I’m not the originator of the article. BBC News was clearly documented as the source material.
I realize that my default of snark might not serve me well. So, I chose the path of politeness.
I’d like to think that I’m capable of diplomacy. Or, at least, not causing an international incident. I may have surprised this person, as her response was simple and to the point.
XXXXX XXXXX Thank you Leila!
Maybe, I’ve made a new friend. Possibly, a sea silk research source for a story down the line. That would be nice.
Online communication is filled with potential minefields. One person’s bad day can blow up to a mess of epic proportions. Without the facial and body cues that face to face communications allow us, it’s easy to misinterpret intent.
Stuff happens. People have bad days. A little politeness will go a long way. I’m not perfect. I’ve kicked the proverbial hornets nest and lived to tell about it.
Number one lesson learned is to only go for the thermonuclear option when politeness fails and it gets ugly.