It wasn’t really that long ago, that our home phones used to ring. Do you remember? The promise of anticipation? Who was on the other end of the phone? What was happening? What were we missing?
Then came caller ID. At first it was great. The anticipation was gone. We knew who was on the other end of the phone. We could possibly determine what was happening? What we were missing?
Then came texting.
It was all gone. The anticipation, the who, what, when and why? We weren’t missing a thing.
My sister tells me that texting is not necessarily great.
“Don’t be silly!” I protest.
Well, at least that’s how I initially respond. I mull over her insight.
I am more connected than ever to a multitude. I am; however, under connected to those I am closest to. Sure, I text them all of the time and they me, but texting lacks what live human connection promotes…true intimacy. This has been my sister’s theory all along.
I realize that texting allows for other intimacies, other connections and exchanges. I also realize that it’s convenient and it’s easy.
Nonetheless, let’s be honest. What does it truly afford us? How many times do we avoid a phone call in favor of texting?
I do it.
I hear my phone ring. My thought process begins. I will text them later. I don’t have twenty minutes to chat. I’m tired. I need to get this done first.
How much audible, infectious, real laughter are we doing without?
How many quiet sighs of relief?
How many sobs of pain that beg actual human ears?
How many ridiculous, silly, little conversational tangents that morph into coveted, precious, inside jokes?
How many of these life regularities and rarities are being muted by the clashing of smartphone keys?
I’m a writer, obviously I am a fan of the written word. However, even I don’t think I dig texting anymore. The written word has meaning because of the real life emotions behind it. Sure, there are some benefits now that the days of audio Russian roulette are over. I’m not going to lie. I like the ability to bow out of uncontrolled communication and replace it with the controlled, time allotted text response.
Only before texting, I wasn’t allowed the benefit of being this selfish. Of choosing the time that I allow those I love into my life.
It’s like being a stay at home mother with a nanny. Thankfully, I couldn’t afford this luxury. I would have been the mommy out shopping, lunching and chatting all day. The temptation would have been too great. Raising children is at times effortless and at times beautifully, hard work.
Relationships are at times effortless and at times beautifully, hard work.
There is no duplication for the sound of a human voice – especially one that you love.
Of the anticipation, the who, what, when and why? Of what I am missing.
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