Social skills for autonomous people: hedgeclippers: Social skills for autonomous people: Borrowing…



Social skills for autonomous people: Borrowing computers


Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this…

hellolittledeer said:

I know the fact that I make visual art with my computer has made it come to seem like an extension of my brain.  It’s not difficult to imagine others feeling this way.  Most of the people I know have good computer boundaries, but some people may not even know what is and is not a problem.  A few years back a friend’s partner asked to look something up on my computer and I said “sure,” unaware myself that they wouldn’t even process the firefox icon as being an internet browser.  Fifteen minutes of Internet Explorer browsing later, I was stuck with spyware and general weirdness that resulted in a complete re-install of Windows.  I’ll take partial credit for that mess, as I could have hopped over and opened firefox, but at the same time I wonder *how* they could have done all that while trying to look up an address on google maps and checking e-mail.

unquietpirate said

I liked this thread because it helped me put words to why I don’t like lending people my phone.

A couple of kids on the street the other day asked if they could borrow my phone to make a call, even offered to pay me and “you can hold my wallet while I do it. I’m not gonna run off with it.” (Not that it would do anyone much good to run off with my beat-up, blurry-screened, five year old flipphone.) I told them sorry, I didn’t have any minutes. Which was a lie because obviously I have Unlimited Everything.

I felt like kind of an asshole after they walked off. If they’d asked me for a cigarette, or directions, or money, or even a cup of coffee, I would’ve said yes without hesitation. But I just don’t like anyone else touching my phone unless we’re very, very intimate. 

On the flipside of this, my current computer was a gift from someone I love, a hand-me-down that has all kinds of wear on the keyboard and case from his years of use, and I’m particularly attached to it for that reason. It makes me feel connected to him. :-)

realsocialskills said:

Someone who puts intense pressure on you to let you use their phone, and who says “I’m not going to steal it or anything” probably in fact has every intention of stealing your phone.


It’s harder to hear tone of voice over the telephone. Phone lines convey what the phone company thinks is the minimum information needed to understand speech. It doesn’t convey music well, apparently. It’s not very good for people speaking a language they’re not very fluent in. I have trouble recognizing whose voice it is or even sometimes whether it’s a man or a woman; this can be embarassing. It’s not lying to say “I can’t hear tone of voice very well over this phone connection.”
That makes a lot of sense.

An answer about messages

NOTE: I didn’t write this. It’s a submission. I haven’t tried doing it this way, but it seems to me that it would work:

To effectively leave a phone message:

  1. Write a list of what you need to convey - if you get nervous on the phone this is a good tip in general to call, because you might end up forgetting what you need to say as soon as that person picks up – happens to everybody!
  2. The most important things to include are your identity (name), reason for calling (to make an appointment? because they called you first but you missed it? to inquire or speak to somebody in particular in the building?), and your contact details (your cell/mobile or telephone number, email address).
  3. For example, your list could say: my name is John Smith, inquiring about doctor’s appointment, call back on xxx-xxxxx, evenings.
  4. Listen very carefully to any instructions you’re given on the answerphone. If you didn’t catch it the first time there is no harm in hanging up before the beep, calling, and listening again. Keep a pen to hand to make notes in the meantime.
  5. State your answer in the clearest way possible; you may be nervous, so aim to speak slowly and clearly. You won’t sound silly: the other person who will receive the message will be grateful that they can hear you clearly. Repeating certain details helps a lot too as hearing a number twice will allow the other person time to copy it down accurately.
  6. For example: “Hello there, I would like to make/ask about booking an appointment. My name is John Smith. Please call me back on my cellphone, my number is (speaking slowly) xxx-xxxxx. That’s xxx-xxxxx. I’ll be able to answer your call between 4 and 7pm any day of the week. Otherwise my e-mail address is john[at]email[dot]com. Thank you, goodbye.” Don’t hang up without an end greeting.
  7. You can alter this formula for informal things too, such as calling friends or family. If they already know your number just let them know that you’ll respond to a text more quickly, or when you’ll be available to receive a call.