Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Luddite Returns

My niece finds me hysterical. "She actually re-reads texts before she sends them!" Hooting laughter. 

Beware, my sweet. 

I hate, loathe, despise texting. It's ideal if one is firing back factual statements. Where are you? How much cocoa for your brownie recipe? What time is the wedding called for? 

But for light banter? Kill me. 

I'm all to aware of the nuances that are all to necessary but absent with textual communication: body language and voice intonation. The most innocent of remarks can come off as sneeringly snarky when left to the hastily typed form. 

When I have been kidnapped by a textual conversation, I'm a wreck. I type. Re-type. Delete. Edit. Emoji. Delete again. Edit edit edit. Delete. Cry. Emoji emoji emoji. Send. Cry some more. Pray for a response that reflects I didn't insult the other side in some way that I couldn't predict despite my agonizing. 
"The Five Stages of Ghosting Grief" by Rachel Fields perfectly depicts that torture. Anxiety can snowball from "Why hasn't he texted back?" to "I'm unlovable and no one wants me and I'll die alone."

Also, if trapped in a text loop, that means I have to keep an ear out for the damn thing constantly. It's the proverbial monkey on my back. I walk away from my desk for a minute: Quick, check the phone! Someone else's device chirps: Quick, check the phone! Does, like, everyone have that pleasant Note notification? *PIIING*? I had to change mine to something less pleasant but more unique so I wouldn't keep scrabbling though my bag for naught. 

My life so much freer before. And I was more relaxed, that's for sure.    


Altie said...

I don't really share your problem, I'd much rather text someone then call and speak on the phone. Although, I do use swipe text and will stop to correct the same word until it gets it right. In cases where I am anxiously awaiting a reply to a text, I put my phone on silent so I don't know when the reply comes, it helps dispel the anxiety.

Regarding proofreading and grammar, my biggest pet peeve is on Facebook when people don't reread their statuses before posting and there are obvious spelling or grammatical errors.

Daniel Saunders said...

And the rest! I dislike texting too. I prefer email, but the 'stuck in a loop' situation can happen there too (currently waiting to hear back from someone; if I haven't heard by tomorrow afternoon I'm going to have to phone as it's urgent). I also fear sending to the wrong person, something I managed to do the other day.

Oh, and I proof-read endlessly, for errors and for sense. It means even the slightest email (or blog comment!) can take ages.

Sarah said...

I absolutely proofread my texts! I'm also not a huge texter because the lack of facial communication throws me off a bit, but I'd rather be anachronistic than come across as illiterate or a wannabe hipster. (Yes, I was the weird and bookish girl who used punctuation and capitalization in texts while in high school.) Anyone who is bothered by education can saltate off a ziggurat.

Sarah said...

Also, people who overuse texttalk and are obsessed with texting remind me of the junior high classmate who signed my yearbook with "thanx for the kooKies. they were yummm" It's been nearly ten years and that still gets an eyeroll. (The snickerdoodles were delicious, if I do say so myself.)

Princess Lea said...

Altie: I hate talking too. I like no options for connection, apparently.

I should try that silent thing.

And, like, FB underlines incorrect spelling! They do all the work! Just right-click, people!

DS: I also prefer email.

Sarah: "Yes, I was the weird and bookish girl who used punctuation and capitalization in texts while in high school."

Dat me. Separated at birth?

"Anyone who is bothered by education can saltate off a ziggurat."


I shivered at that yearbook sign-off. When did it get to be cute to misspell and capitalize at whim?