Cell phones, email, Facebook. Linkedin, Twitter, texting, and chatrooms. I won't mention Myspace because, well, who does Myspace anymore?
Born under the sign of Gemini, I should be the greatest of all communicators. Yet I am afraid that all of this pressure to communicate, almost constantly, is bringing me down. Lately the sound of a phone ringing makes me cringe. Sometimes my cell and the land-line at the shop are ringing simultaneously. I get home and inevitbly within a minute, that phone is ringing.
There are emails to reply to, and Facebook messages to respond to.
There are always voice-mails to return.
"Dude. I've been blowing up your phone, why aren't you answering?!"
Because I turned it OFF. Sorry if I don't get back to you right away. After a long day of being on the phone, on the computer, (hopefully) talking to customers, and perhaps maybe not having the best of days, the last thing I want to do is talk about it. I love you. Get over it. The caller ID on my phone was broken for 4 months. It was torture.
I'll admit it. Facebook has been a Godsend. I'm grateful to be able to log in, and in 20 minutes know how 219 people are doing today, and in as much time as it takes to muster something relatively clever, I can let them know I'm still breathing. Now if only I could limit myself to one login per diem.
I have disabled the chat feature.
Texting. I have no time for it. I don't have a fancy phone with an easy to navigate keyboard to send you quick replies, and I don't really want one either. In the time it takes me to PAINFULLY execute a response, I could have had a conversation with you. Besides, I see people getting pissy about other people's texts all the time. It's usually a perception issue due to the fact that you can almost never read someones intonation. This can be easily remedied by actually SPEAKING to someone. Providing they answer their phone.
Someone informed me the other day that when you're in a chatroom, if YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS, THAT MEANS YOU'RE YELLING! Wow. I had no idea there was such a thing as chatroom etiquette. And why should it surprise me that at grade schools across the country they've stopped teaching children cursive writing? People don't send thank you notes anymore, so why should they ever learn? However I guarantee you that every 12 year old in America knows how to LOL with their BFF. I mean OMG, GTFO! Are we really living in the greatest age of communications advancement , or are we careening toward a huge breakdown in how we interact as a society, a people?
Really, that's the point in this little rant. With all of the technological advances in interpersonal communication, we're certainly communicating more, but is it better? I know for myself personally, that would be a big no, and maybe that's been a subconscious choice. Because I honestly can't think of a thing much more dreadful than being tethered to an electronic device. I say this of course as I compose at my computer.
Throughout human history we have longed for better, faster communication. We invented the written word, and just kept going. Messages in a bottle, carrier pigeons, telegrams, morse code, the telephone. I think we would be wise to remember that the reason we once strove for better communication, was to get a message to someone that was perhaps more meaningful. 30 years ago when long distance cost 50 cents a minute, if you called someone out of town, it was because you had something to say!
I owed about 6 people phone calls when I got home tonight. I made 2, then decided to sit down and write. To be quiet, with just myself. To take time to work on a solitary project. I'll get back to everyone eventually, one at a time, when I have time to actually have a conversation with them. Because when I do talk to you, what I want to know is how you really are. TTFN.