Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes clicking my way deeper and deeper into a company’s website, looking for someone’s email address. Unless you’re looking for an incredibly specific, possibly illegal item that’s only sold by a tiny curio shop in the Ukraine, that’s a stupid amount of time to spend looking for anything online. I was determined to find the address or die trying, though, because my only other option was calling her.
Yep. I had her phone number the whole time. When it comes down to it, I would rather fly a rickety, snake-infested plane to the Ukraine to hunt down an incredibly specific, possibly illegal item that’s only sold by a tiny curio shop there than pick up the phone and call someone.
I don’t know why talking on the phone is beyond me, but as soon as I have to do it I lose the ability to hold a normal conversation and start in on this crazy word jumble. It sounds like I’m reading a Gertrude Stein novel out loud. Any time I think I can get away with texting instead of calling, I’ll do it.
Text messaging should have been a godsend for people like me, but I kind of think it’s raised my anxiety level. I’ll spend hours laboring over the right words for a text. I’ll overanalyze my friends’ response times to find hidden meanings. I once ended a relationship by sending a text to the wrong person. It may be better than calling, but it’s still incredibly stressful. After what happened this week, I think I’ll be even more stressed out in the future.
My friend is a text message junkie. A lot of us have been abusing texting for years– sneaking discreet texts under the desk during class, putting emoticons that don’t even correspond with human emotions in every message, and alienating our especially anal friends with poor spelling and grammar– so she’s not unique in this aspect. She was, however, very close to becoming a cautionary tale I’d tell my grandchildren about to scare them into good texting behavior.*