Day 294: Items purchased:0, Temptation Radar:0
Monday, October 24, 2011
Earlier today, I was thinking about the day I received my very first text message. Actually, it wasn’t long ago. In the fall of 2006, after returning to work from maternity leave , I noticed a strange little icon on my Verizon flip phone. Ignorant to the meaning, I snubbed it and continued my day…actually several days. The following week, after I’d missed a soft deadline, my boss called to chastise me about it, saying “Aimee. I sent you a text!!! Didn’t you read it? “ I remember at the moment saying, ” Well, I don’t text. If it is an item of importance please call me.” He was silent on the other end of the line, dumbfounded that I didn’t know how to send or receive a text. In fact, during that time, his few text cost me A LOT of money because I had no data plan in place. Today, I am astonished that people actually still talk on the phone. All that…in 5 years.
That was 2006.
5 years later, I text incessantly. I’m sad to say that I actually have more social media and text conversations than live ones. In 5 years, technology has revolutionized my life by offering me more convenience, and I must admit, more indulgence. However, I can’t help but wonder if I’ve missed the mark a little with this textology of mine. Because of it, I’ve missed an abundance of valuable visits with people. In the current culture there are people who ONLY know me, and I them, via social media and text. It’s one thing if they live across the continent, but many of these are people who live in my backyard.
I subscribe to the notion that you can’t really know a person by what she posts on facebook. You don’t develop treasured relationships via a blog post. It’s spending time with real live people that will enhance our lives. A text stream will never replace an actual conversation. Conversely, we miss out on too much settling for friendship with a wall, rather than meeting a friend for coffee. That being said, I’m weaning myself, slowly, from utter dependence on text and media outlets as the primary substitution for social activity, and my silly replacement for real friendship.
So, if you see me out and about for a change, don’t be shocked. If I actually phone you with an invitation to my house for coffee, don’t pass out. I’m missing the essence of sentiment in every text I’ve so cavalierly traded for quality time. I don’t want to be lazy about people, or callous about feelings. I fear that technology has us moving in that direction. Let the resistance begin. Let this be my new textimony.