Okay, I’m prefacing this post with a disclaimer: I love the Interwebs, I’m crazy about my blog, I work electronically from home, my cell phone is always on my person, and I read on a Kindle. So this mini-rant doesn’t come from a place of dial landlines, a typewriter, and snail mail (although I do love to receive letters on pretty stationery…).
I don’t get the need for constant communication and contact. It irritates the crap out of me to sit with someone at a restaurant or even at their home or mine and have them constantly eying their smart phone. They set it next to them on the table (mine’s in my pocket and generally set to vibrate if I’m with others at an event), and within seconds, the chiming or buzzing begins. Then they check out whatever message has come in and immediately respond. Their little thumbs fly over the keys as I sit waiting for them to return to the conversation at hand.
I admit it, texting pisses me off. Not the idea, although I truly don’t get it. I mean, seriously, the phone is in your hand. If what you have to say is so important it can’t wait an hour or two until you’re done with supper or a movie, then just go find a place and call the person. I’ve heard all the arguments for texting: 1) “I don’t have to get involved in a long conversation.” 2) “It lets me tell my friend something without interrupting what I’m doing. 3) “It’s the only way my kids will communicate with me.” There are probably others, but those are the three I’m addressing today.
I’m starting with Number 3 because that one makes me madder than the others. Kids, it’s your mom/dad–your parents. Answer your fucking phone! And if you can’t answer and they leave a message, return the call as soon as you can, not in a couple weeks or whenever you feel like it. These are the people who gave you life, who raised you, who put you through college, and put up with your snotty teenaged years. They deserve your attention. One quick note to parents, don’t abuse the fact that your kid has a phone permanently attached to his fingers. Keep your calls to a reasonable number and try to figure out when it’s most appropriate to contact him.
I guess I’ll go backwards, so Number 2. Trust me when I tell you, there is nothing so important you need to tell anyone that can’t wait for a phone call or until you see them. Not that the the guy in line in front of you at the grocery has a delicious butt; not that the jerk in the convertible just cut you off in traffic (and why the hell are you texting while you’re driving? Stop it immediately!); and not the fact that you just found that perfect shade of lipstick. Oh, and you are interrupting what you’re doing–you’re texting while I’m sitting across the table from you trying to have an intelligent conversation. And if the text is “Nan is boring me to tears,” well then, suck down your latte, say your goodbyes, and I’ll see you later…
Number 1. You don’t have to get involved in a long conversation. But you do get involved in long conversations–you’re just thumbing them instead of talking! What’s the difference? I’m still sitting across the table from you, wondering why the hell you bothered to meet me for coffee when clearly, you need to be somewhere else talking to someone else.
I get that sometimes a text is the absolute best way to communicate–when someone is ill in the hospital, if you’re going to be desperately late for an important meeting…but rarely is that the case. So, just a suggestion: Back away from the smart phone, set it to vibrate, put it in your pocket, and leave it alone. When we part ways, you can pull it out and answer all those crucial texts…you may end up sitting in a parking lot for a few minutes after we say our goodbyes, but at least I’ll feel like you were truly interested in being with me… Thanks a million…