We live in an age of technology where communication isn’t what it once was. A text message is what seems to be the number one way of communication. It has even come to the point that you have to text someone to call you! Like another one of my posts, I feel like I am aging myself here as I did a couple weeks ago with the Nokia cell phone and snake reference. But dating myself aside, over the years communication has become more electronic and less personal.
Don’t get me wrong. Technology has improved my life in so many ways. (Where I would be without my Dyson or my smart phone I don’t even want to imagine.) Yet with all of the convenience of the Dysons and the text messages, we have lost a bit of who we are and turned ourselves into the robots we depend on. (If you are thinking about the Terminator movies now we are seeing eye to eye.)
Think about text messages for a moment. There is so much that goes into it and so much that is missing at the same time. It is the most simple and over complicated thing in the world. Let me lay out what I believe to be the benefits of text messaging:
1 – Quick effective message that can be read immediately. 2 – Less invasive way to contact someone. 3 – Can be sent at any hour without worrying about ringing a phone and waking up a home if people are sleeping. 4 – Group messages are a blessing so small bits of information can be sent without having to make multiple calls.
Good stuff huh? Ahhh… now that we have text messages how could we live in a world without them? (Insert heart emoticon here so you really get how much I love my text love.) Now here’s how text messages can destroy your life with one press of send:
1 – Sending a message that is not a quick message that looks like you just sent a NOVEL and warrants an hour long ‘text conversation’ when a phone call would have been done in two minutes. 2 – When send a text and you’re not sure the proper punctuation to use to really convey the tone of your message. (Should I put an exclamation point? A period? Any punctuation? Emoticon?) 3 – When you wake up and see you have 15 messages and you’re terrified something tragic has happened and you realize someone just kept having auto spell issues so you have words you already figured out like *the* or *and* (Must use ** so they know what I meant*) 4 – When you put your phone down then pick it up again five minutes later and see 45 texts and freak out worse but then realize you were just part of some group message thread about something that had absolutely nothing to do with you and now your cell battery has drained about 10% due to the over usage of emoticons in response to the original text. 5 – when you offend someone when you DON’T use emoticons (but really you just have an out of date android that doesn’t even have emoticons unless you download an app for it.) 6 – When people get offended by a text and take it completely out of context because you didn’t use the above mentioned emoticons or seriously planned out punctuation to convey your point properly and you have to send 15 more texts explaining the original text instead of picking up the phone and using spoken words. And my favorite… 7 – When you’re trying to figure out the appropriate amount of time you should take before you respond to a text. Let me go into this one a little deeper.
Reason number 7 of why text messages are awful (and have the potential to ruin my day EVERY DAY) really confuses the hell out of me. Yes. I am in my 30’s. No, I don’t use the how long you should wait to reply to a text method. If I have my phone in my hand and whilst using it I receive a text, you better believe I will send you a response immediately. If I don’t, I will forget and then you will send me a message the next day asking why I never replied yesterday.
But when I respond to quickly, I’ve been told it makes it seem like I’m too eager to respond. (What the hell does that mean? I saw your damn text and I responded to it. That’s what they are for.) What’s worse is when you send someone a text and they use the wait for the appropriate amount of time to pass until a reply text method. This is the person (and you all know them… you’re probably reading this on your phone right now and ignoring texts you should have responded to too) who NEVER takes their eyes off of their phone. Oh. So you saw my text, read it, and now you’re going to wait between 5-8 minutes (Or longer) to text me back so it seems like you aren’t to eager to respond. Even worse, is when you call someone and they don’t answer but text you to text whatever you were calling about to them. So you text them a question and they respond several hours later with that quick (most likely time sensitive) answer you needed from the phone call before the text.
FYI I am so glad I don’t have an iPhone with read messages. I did once and I wanted to throw my iPhone at people who I sent messages to and after the read receipt popped up they habitually waited a minimum of 8 minutes to respond. Yes. Yes I time how long the wait is because I know you saw my text and you’re doing absolutely nothing but doing that wait thing. Why? WHY DO THAT?
People. Please stop being stupid with your phones and use them to make your life easier. Don’t over read someone’s text to you. DON’T read though other people’s phones (nothing good will ever come of it I promise you). Don’t be afraid to hit the call button and actually speak to a person every once in a while. Believe it or not, the cell phones they make these days do make calls as well as texts. And most importantly, text me back without playing that STUPID wait long enough game. We all know you’re not too busy to text me back. Til next time…