Reading between the lines

So many things that aren’t said, aren’t vocalized. Those thoughts we have we keep to ourselves, we bind them inside.

I’m good with reading between the lines, its a talent I learned very young. When you are in interesting circles of people doing illegal things, that they shouldn’t be doing, and surrounded both by safe and unsafe people, personal safety requires you to read between the lines. You learn the things unspoken are just as important, often more important than the things said.

Body language speaks alot — more than most people realize. Voices too give away much, with the tone, the pauses the inflections and the minor shifts in speed, pitch and animation. Chosen words, posturing and what happens when the words stop, these also give clues, like puzzles to unravel.

This reading between the lines is a great skill in a world that is in person, in the face, touching each other. Its an intensively valuable skill in that world; one most people didn’t bother to cultivate, many of the ones that have are called “street smart” — those that didn’t are often viewed as Not being ‘street smart” or being a bit naive.

How does one leverage this skill in a world of digital input? Where worlds of unspoken and between the lines exist, and aren’t available to be deciphered by body language, or even necessarily voice. What if the chosen words don’t necessarily leave breadcrumbs of understanding?

There is the obvious answer of asking, but sometimes the question doesn’t get answered, sometimes the answer still leaves words unspoken — paths unclear.

There is the cloak and dagger method of investigation, and intrigue, but its just so so time consumptive, and often leads more to assumptions than fact. Assumptions about what the information revealed speaks, and whether it was the between the lines or not.

When someone says “probably” — does it really mean its likely to happen? Or does it mean no? When someone says “maybe” is this really a pretty social lie way of saying no?

How does one accurately get to the heart of those words, so as to maintain social eloquence while at the same time retaining ‘street smarts’ because street smarts, is even more critical in this digital day and age then it ever was in the non digital day and age.

So much of our minds, hearts, lives, finances, personality, and personal details are laid out before the masses whether we are aware or unaware of this being the case. All of these programs that farm our digital snip-its of data, mining them and molding them to caterer the message to be one that is pleasing to us, or to obtain some result from our activities. All of this would be so much more safe and secure with digital street smarts.

I mean there are courses on cyber security, they like “book learning” will teach you the fundamentals of protecting your assets. They will teach you the intimate details of what to do and what not to do. They will not however, teach you how to determine what a person your engaging with, a person that you naturally want to trust, is not saying between the lines.

In this digital world, language is changing — brb, afk, lol, roflmao, lul, gg… all of these letters in form have meaning, they have depths of meaning that are relative to this medium. Its a cultural difference that transcends language, nation, nationality, race, creed, color, religion. All of the defining blocks of face to face interaction are clean slates in this digital world, because while all of our data is available to be mined and geared and advocated, the average user doesn’t have access — so we are forced to interact with them using the communication skills we have available.

I don’t know where one learns to read between the lines, but its been a journey I’ve been trying to master for a few years now. In my journeys, I met an unusual individual that has been helping me to learn this skill, helping mold me to see from the perspective of someone that grew up in this land, on this digital street, and has taken my hand to show me the ropes. We don’t talk about this, but its one of those things we read between the lines in our conversations.