AACCCCKKKKK!!! Where’s my Turn OFF Text Feature??

Are we are too technologically advanced to retreat back to simpler times, simpler forms of communication. Remember the good ol’ days when we use to write and mail letters?  How about the days that e-mailing just started to gain popularity?  Remember the days when people use to call each other?  Played their messages out loud on their answering machines?  Kept redialing a person until they didn’t hear that horrid busy signal anymore? Do kids born in the 90’s even know what a busy signal sounds like?  Quick what’s the current cost to mail a letter locally or inNorth America?  How I miss those simpler days that use to include more words, more thoughts, more time; but more importantly engaged more of me…

The viral Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Falon video on hashtags perfectly encapsulates the RIDICULOUSNESS of how we communicate now, how absurd we sound and how stupidly we’ve disguised our laziness with “innovative advancement” #notenglish– it’s easy to get swept up in the wave of what’s new and cool…until it occurred to me, I’m not better off today than I was 10 or 20 years ago.  I wonder how I use to convey “laughing” in a written letter before “lol” became so popular….wait a minute, maybe writing wasn’t my primary means of communication.  Maybe I actually laughed out loud while I was on the phone or talking to someone.  Maybe I only used emailing or texting as a secondary means of communication, and therefore didn’t require abbreviations to express emotion, because I wasn’t using email or text messaging to express emotion!!! 

It wasn’t that long ago that I subconsciously qualified and defined relationships by the number of texts I exchanged in a day with that special someone (good grief) – he didn’t have to ask me to be his girlfriend, I could try and guess from the rhythmic (or erratic) patterns of our text messages.  Was he texting frequently enough?  How quick was his response time?  Did he use a term of endearment? Was he my last text before bed?  (eyeroll)….ummm, I’m going to skip right over any experiences I may or may not have had with sexting….“lol”.

Or the friendships I tried to maintain with spotted text messages.  “Hey, long time! How are you?”  Really?  Really am I asking that way, and really are you going to be able to authentically respond in some way outside of a “I’m good, how are you?”??…..blech.

Or what about the ones who never say nice things to your face, but can sing your praises in writing? The ones who bite their tongue in person but send a lashing in writing?  The ones whose writing is so vastly different from what they’re like in person, you’d swear they were using a ghostwriter for all of their written communication!   The ones who will send a convenient text but won’t actually answer their phone minutes later.  And YES, I’m guilty too. I’ve been known to have killed a few relationships and friendships via e-mail rather than in person.  I understand why people hide behind their writing and the courage it takes to speak face to face as opposed to keyboard to keyboard, I just wish we could reverse some of these trends.

I do love social media and networking. I think it’s an amazing way of keeping in touch and connecting with people.  I credit the rekindling of beautiful friendships and the start of new ones to facebook….oh ya, finding husbands too!  I just don’t want these advancements to be my primary means of communication anymore.

Short of becoming a swami in the Himalayas, or someone inventing a busy signal blockade for my incoming text messages; I may just need to leave my phone in my purse throughout the day.  It used to be exciting to hear my text notification go off, I use to brim with curiosity as I picked up my phone and eagerly checked my new messages…..  But am I the only one getting fed up of the current massacre of human relationship and communication?  Am I the only one feeling utterly inconvenienced by these conveniences? Or maybe I’m just getting old? Sigh… “you know, those kids nowadays….”

Thank God for the people in my life who don’t mind a little face or phone time….less filtration certainly lends to less dilution in relationships…..

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