Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Texting Epidemic

...and getting worse!

There seems to have been a shift in the last two years in the way people use text messaging. I remember text messaging to be a source of easy information, point to point contact and confirmation of plans. Then suddenly people began having full-on text conversations when they just as easily could have called that person at that time. Back and forth, back and forth, T9 and emoticons. Ugh! I fear this created a whole new source of passivity amongst person to person communication.

Texting used to be: "In Midtown will see you in 15min."
Now it's: "Hey man, what's going on? Long time no see. Just touching base to see what's happening with you. What are you doing this weekend? Let's get together if you don't have plans! OMG, btw..I have to tell you the funniest thing!"

Texting has become a source of great confusion, miscommunication and misunderstanding and a goddamn headache to boot. I can't tell you how many plans bunked out or how many times I've been in a situation where things changed and the excuse was, "well I sent you a text!" Or, "I texted you last week and you didn't respond! What gives?" Well, what gives is that your text left no impression on me because it was a flaky little note to begin with!

A recent situation happened to me and an ex-boyfriend of mine from LA who I'm still madly outrageously kind of in love with and who I would have definitely slept with seen on an upcoming vacation I'm taking. Unfortunately Mr. X originally had plans that same weekend but found he was able to get out of them. Apparently several weeks ago I supposedly got a text that said, "hey are you definitely coming because I think I can break my plans." Well, I don't know what happened..? 1) I don't remember getting the text. 2) If I got the text and was busy at the moment I probably shut my phone and intended to answer later but forgot because a text isn't as memorable as voice or voice-mail is. 3) I got the text and answered but never got a response. Now we're both shit out of luck. If he CALLED, like the way people are supposed to communicate with one another this would have never happened. But noooo everyone has to be so fucking skittish and passive these days that texts are now excused as true communication. IT ISN'T THE SAME THING! Here's the deal Mr. X, and any of you wanting to get together with someone whether it be a friend, lover or potential friend or lover. CALL people. TALK to people. COMMUNICATE with people. This texting nonsense is getting out of hand!

Sure it's ok to text a friend if he/she isn't at a place when they said they would be, or if it's really loud, or if you're meeting someone and going to be late and, yes, the occasional inside joke and pic message is totally appreciated but leave it at that. The minute you start texting a conversation is the minute you already decided the conversation isn't really worth having, for if it were, you would be CALLING them! Text INFORMATION not CONVERSATION!

And for T9's sake, don't ever ask someone out by texting them! Do you really want to try and start off a relationship or a getting-to-know someone by proving how passive and meek you are about talking with them? Are you kidding?! That's no way to show an interest in somone! Grab your balls, jump back a decade and do it the way were meant to, from one voice to one ear!

WTF?!

10 comments:

bstewart23 said...

God, Eric, THANK YOU.

I'm deluged by nonsensical text messages and they drive me crazy. Yes, I *love* spending 3 minutes tapping out "I'm doing great, busy at work, but happy and healthy. You?" in the middle of a crisis at work when a phone call would be so much better in every respect.

As far as I'm concerned, the only acceptable text messaging would be "7PM, 100 Wellesley Street buzzer 9978, I have condoms and lube".

Dennis said...

Problem with that, bstewart, is that the guy would probably spell Wellesley as w3773273y and then bitch you out when you didn't know what the hell he was talking about. I'm tolerant of text messages because they're great at work when I can't be on the phone, but I absolutely abhor textspeak. Take the extra five seconds to type "you are lame" instead of "u r lame" or "to/too" instead of 2. Periods, commas, and capital letters were invented for good reason, people! And there is absolutely no reason to use textspeak in email. None.

Greg said...

I can't text message for the life of me, not yet having figured out how to add the spaces between words and to add periods, exclamation points, etc. Kids theses days!! But somehow, spam texts seem to love my phone. I received three this morning and simply deleted them without opening them.

Blockmeister@charter.net said...

What's even worse, in my opinion, is a "text messager type" feeling it is proper to text someone when you are having a conversation with them! My partner is the absolute worse example of this!
There is a time and a place, but texting is CERTAINLY out of hand today...

SubtleKnife said...

I received an email from my parents saying I should reply to my aunt's messages. Now I know I have been ignoring her (a little) but I honestly didn't understand what brought this on now, not having received anything from her for months.

Then it struck me that it might have been the Happy New Year message I got from a strange number.

Maybe I'll get around to checking it out before she gets around to informing her of her new phone number...

Father Tony said...

Two years ago, a twenty year old blogger with fast fingers spotted me at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve in Fort Lauderdale. I was in a box, he in the orchestra with his family. The phone in my pocket vibrated and I received a text message which made sense simply because one ought not to gab on the phone during Mass (although I was reminded of that wonderful song covered by Manhattan Transfer "Get me Jesus on the line"). I learned on the spot how to respond, but slowly, managing only the word "where" without the elusive question mark I had intended. His fingers swiftly generated whole batches of sentences and emoticons. Since that is the only night of the year when I am in church, I have no further need of the texting capacity on my phone, and it is irritating, but to follow your logic, we ought really to revert back even further to that wonderful practice of writing with a quill dipped in indigo and scratched across parchment to be dusted and folded and sealed with wax and a signet ring and dispatched with a eunuch on a fast horse. Now those were the days when gentlemen roamed the earth.

MJ said...

dude...you nailed it. i'm so over convo's thru texting. just pick up the fucking phone old school yo!

Lee said...

My favorite thing now is receiving booty call TXT at 3 am on a work night. The fact that I respond is not the issue.

Jeffrey said...

I have friends who are angered when i email to text them as they know i haven't taken the effort in pushing the keys a thousand times. Making or changing plans on text - forget it... I'd rather be home alone unengaged watching the ants in my ant farm create colonies!

Serg said...

Love the booty call txt messages, well not that much on a week night but from Thursday I'm already ready to take charge, I just buy viagra for just in case and I'm good to go.