Tuesday, April 6, 2010

texting schmexting

Is it because I'm on the cusp between a Gen X'er and a Gen Y'er that I am not on the crazed texting bandwagon? Because I wasn't an early adopter, is that why I'm not drinkin the cool-aid? I don't get it. I don't mind texting, and in some cases, it makes life easier (when trying to avoid a convo with a relentless "me" talker, when you need one quick answer that doesn't require formalities and niceties, etc), but really with all this text-talk taking over the world?!

I guess I started off as a fan, but never an avid texter or totally converted to the text-y language. I liked it, more for convenience. I even argued its case, when my husband constantly downplayed its importance to society. He always says "its always quicker to just pick up the phone." And that's coming from a self-proclaimed non-phone talker. I just always thought he didn't "get it." But now it is I that doesn't "get it!"

I mean, is it really so great that we risk our lives in traffic on a daily basis, to keep in constant communication with our "public"? I admit, I like the convenience and the buck-passing of texting. If I'm not in a hurry for an answer or reply or don't wanna to commit to an event, I just send a note out into the textosphere and wait for a reply. While I am waiting, I feel a sense of relief. I am no longer responsible or have the ball in my court, because I sent my note, my peace was said. But then comes all of the lost texts and the unanswered messages. Hubby's right (document this occasion, 'cuz it's not often you'll catch me admitting that one), texts aren't reliable, and they definitely aren't faster, in certain circumstances. And really, sexting? I am not touching that one with a ten-foot pole. Clearly the mark of distinction for all hi-tech companies when you realize your technology reaches the pinnacle of acceptance and ubiquity in the marketplace. Even though that was meant to be a bit of snarky sarcasm, historically speaking - there's really quite a trend there (look at phones, the Internet, YouTube, myspace and now texts).

Maybe I was swayed by the whole Oprah's No Phone Zone campaign (but probably not), or maybe it was those scare-tactic videos to keep teens from texting, but I'm scared to death of texting while driving. Or, maybe I'm just getting old and starting to put safety first (yeah... I think that's it!). I worry I am endangered by the Blackberrians and the teens that TWD (text while driving), but I really worry because I have become so hooked on technology that I don't have enough willpower to not pick up my phone when it beeps. I recently switched from Blackberry to regular cell phone.... The cost was pretty high -extreme withdrawal symptoms and all (roughly equal to a heroin addict detoxing, I would imagine), but I really wanted to decrease my chances of picking up a phone in traffic and reading and/or writing an email or text. I'd finally had one too many slam-on-the-brakes experiences to not stop. And I know you know what I mean. The, I-just-looked-down-real-quick-to-check-my-phone syndrome, and realized I came up too quick on the cars in front of me.

At the risk of coming off as a bitter diatribe, I'm actually trying to be realistic with myself on my issues with the phone and texting. I really want to stop for me, my family and for other drivers out there. When you see people's Facebook pics of blurry scenery or the pile-up on the interstate - it makes you realize we are way too "in touch."

So we're heading for the Jetsons era real fast. That's cool, I'm trying to be "down." But on the same token, I need to stop perpetuating the 1-dimensional line of communication. I have to keep up with the times, and communicate through social media for my job and to stay relevant with my peer groups, but GOSH it feels good to reconnect on the phone with an old friend. It's too easy to just pop a note across cyberspace, just to rid yourself of the guilt for not keeping in touch. Don't we miss the interpersonal relationships that you harbor over long lunches or a glass of wine on the porch, while you chat up your bff? I do. I'm gonna keep writing my handwritten notes and correspond old-fashionedly and wait to call South Carolina after 9pm, when it's free on my cellular plan. I love technology just as much as you (I mean I'm blogging right now, aren't I?) but I gotta keep myself in check a bit. Especially when it comes to texting, TUI and TWD.

'Night T-9ers :)


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