Tone Indicators

When I mention that I hate tone-tags, a lot of people feel the need to dismissively say, "Well I'm neurodivergent and they help." with the implied "You clearly aren't neurodivergent and have no idea what you're talking about". This is grating to me. I am neurodivergent, not that I owe you that information. In fact, I'm neurodivergent in a way that struggles with tone. I ask people a lot if they're joking or being serious. Joking anger can make me really anxious and upset in real life, because I can't quite grasp if I should feel genuinely bad or not.

So, there. This is a warning that if you're going to hop on on my dick about how I'm ableist and evil and blah blah blah that, no, I just have a different opinion and this isn't based on emperical evidence but just shit that annoys me about them.

So, I fucking hate tone tags.

Here's a few reasons.

I don't have the time nor energy to memorize a list of codes.

Tone-tags do the exact opposite of making communication easier, in my opinion, because it requires you to be familiar with a deeply, deeply online set of lingo and communication. On the popular tone-tag carrd alone, there's like 38 of the things, and some people combine them to make different meanings or use ones that may not be on this list.

Requiring people to be familiar with this brand-new set of lingo and codes isn't ease of communication in any capacity. Very frequently, I have to look up tone-tags and their meaning when people use them on me, because there's a lot to memorize.

This is probably minor in the grand scheme, but still an annoyance. Throwing an entire sentence worth of codes at me does not make me understand your message more, but less.

They come across as sarcastic.

It's the same thing as someone, randomly and without prompting, insisting that they're telling you the truth. "I'm not mad, promise! I promise I'm not mad!" Well, I didn't think you were until you insisted on telling me that you were not mad.

I just raise an eyebrow when someone says something that, frankly, no one would take as aggressive or negative and puts 800 tone tags behind it insisting that it's not negative.

It's like someone handing you food and going, "you know I didn't poison this, right?"

They're infantilizing.

Here's really the big one for me: It makes me feel like people are talking to me like I'm a toddler.

The sort of obnoxious head-patting of going 'Oh, don't worry, I'm not mad! I know you didn't know that but I'm not!' like, you don't know what I was thinking! You have no idea if I was confused by this!

If you like people using them for you, awesome, great, but please ask before using them on other people. As a neurodivergent person, I have to deal enough with people talking down to me. I don't need someone online trying to be well meaning but feeling like they need to explain every section of their sentence so that I can understand it, because surely I wouldn't without their help, right?

Fuck off! If I'm confused, I'll ask, because I'm an adult and asking people to explain themselves is honestly less humiliating than someone assuming that I don't know going "Hi! /gen /nm /lh /li /pos". It drives me up a wall. I'm personally very sensitive to feeling talked down to, and this is one of the things online that has really made me feel talked down to the most.

I think the worst part is that people just assume that it's a universal good. That they're doing something awseome and so helpful by doing this, without realizing that you're creating a tone problem by trying to solve one that 99% of the time, doesn't exist. And, again, if you don't feel this way when they're used on you, awesome. Just know that not every neurodivergent person is the same, and everyone's experiences are so different that you can't just assume that this is universally helpful for all ND people and that those who don't like them are ableist dickhead curmudgeons.

In Short

Want people to use tone-tags for you? Awesome, set that boundary.

Want to use tone-tags for other people without asking? Probably pump the breaks and wait for someone to ask if they need an explaination rather than expecting that everyone you're talking to is going to assume the worst from what you're saying. You're creating a problem more than solving it, and it's better to just roll with someone if they ask rather than attempt to guess every way someone could misinterpret your message and try to stop them in their tracks.

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