As a writer for a weekly column, there are times when I misidentify a piece of furniture or label architecture incorrectly. It happens as I am human and make mistakes. Recently, I had someone call me out on a mistake, very publicly. In fact, this individual was very complimentary, then slapped me with “oh and you identified the dining room chairs wrong” all the while feeding me with a backhanded compliment. I had realized the error long after my column had gone to print. With that being said, why do people find it necessary to point out others mistakes in a public forum? When did we lose our manners?
As luck would have it, I actually emailed this person back with an on point message of “thank you for your kind words. While I appreciate you pointing out my error, in the future please email me as I prefer not have my mistakes spotlighted in a public forum.” It astounded me that I even had to write such a request as this person is highly regarded in her field with a very prominent position. As humans, it is very uncomfortable when we make mistakes. Some own them, while others pretend it never happened. I am already my own worst critic, so I really don’t need a chorus of “look at your mistakes” from various individuals. I don’t believe that this person was being malicious, but I do believe a boundary should be set.
In the age of non face to face interactions, I feel that we must be extra cautious on how we come across. The three same rule apply: 1. Is it kind? 2. Is it necessary. 3. Is it true? If those guidelines are met, then by all means share, but if not, then either keep it to yourself or share privately. Surely our society has more common sense than they are currently showing. At least I hope so.