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What’s Goin on tonight?

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I remember a time when I didn’t know how to text.  It’s a vague memory, but one I’m cherishing more and more.  It started out as a slow process.  First I learned how to send a rudimentary text – often entering one letter at a time, and usually to embarrassing results (‘Wht tim is t?’)  Then I took the next step; I finally gave into the trust fall known as ‘t9’.  Who knew that a simple cell phone could reliably guess what word I’m meaning type after only a few letters?!  The notion seemed strange at first, but now is a facet of my daily life as basic the newspaper or hot water.  Then I began to send picture messages – slowly at first, but with more regularity once I realized there was an audience for such things.  Being abroad – in both South Africa and South Korea – only emboldened my sms-habbits.  I had always assumed that Americans lead the world in our pension for texting.  How wrong I was.  And now I’m here: 24, a college grad, and a hopeless, fervent texter.

At first texting seems ideal.  After all, how many times have you called someone up to ask a question, only to hang up the phone 45 minutes later without an answer, and an unnecessarily vivid picture of what someone did over Spring break?  People like to gab.  They feel it’s the friendly option, where terse, direct speaking can come off as rude, or aloof.  (Hold on, I need to hit the can…) Ok, I’m back.  But let’s be frank: most of the time, phone calls are meant to convey a brief message.  Therefore, texting seems to be the better option.  All the information transference, and none of the awkward social niceties.  But like facebook, emailing, and most of the other tech-oriented features of our cultural zeitgeist, texting has mutated into an insidious, life-sucking beast.

I am now almost crippled when it comes to phone conversation.  I speak when I’m not supposed to, I laugh at the wrong times, my cadence is totally off.  I’m a sniveling, awkward mess on the phone, and texting has made me so.  I hardly call anyone anymore.  But at this point, I can’t even lie and say that it’s due to the convenience of texting.  It’s not.  I don’t call people anymore because I’m afraid to.  The fear of exposing myself to another person on a field I’m so incapable of navigating is a dreadful feeling.  It’s like I would rather exist as this amorphous avatar in the texting world.  I can be anyone, and speak however I choose in the texting world – as long as I do it in fewer than 160 characters.  The truth is that texting is starting to do irreparable damage to my psyche.

And so from this moment on I am committing myself to a strict regimen of phone calls.  I will continue to text as the moment demands, but know that I am willfully weening myself off the text message.  Never again will anyone be greeted by a dead phone when they call to confirm a text I’ve sent.  This, by the way – the act of texting someone and then not picking up their call a moment later – is the clearest evidence of a person hopelessly in the grips of a disease more heinous and pervasive than h1n1: Conversaphobia!  I’m a sufferer, but are you willing to admit that you are as well?  No more!  I will be calling you.  We will be talking, awkwardly albeit, and we’ll be bettering ourselves all the while.

Who’s with me?!

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Word of the Day

October 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Morass…

*morass |məˈras; mô-|nounan area of muddy or boggy ground.figurative a complicated or confused situation : she would become lost ina morass of lies and explanations.ORIGIN late 15th cent.: from Dutch moeras, alteration (by assimilation to moer ‘moor’ ) of Middle Dutch marasch, from Old French marais ‘marsh,’ from medieval Latin mariscus.

– courtesy of Apple dictionary.

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