Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dear Text Messaging

Dear Text Messaging,

Oh you….you and your world-wide fans. You were the underdog to the cell phone device. Taking the back seat to calls made and received. Previous to the year 2004-ish, you were only used for such quick messages as “Leaving now” and “Good night”. You were convenient and that was all. And now? Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top… and guess what? I hate it.

Actually, I love you. I love when my phone beeps – “oh? someone took time out of his/her day to tell me something? I wonder what they want to tell me.” Who doesn't love that? Everyone loves that. 

Whirl-A-Hurl: motion sickness bags provided
But, I hate you. What I hate is what happens when the sun goes down on the weekends and the bottoms of my beers go up. The ease in which you can turn a run of the mill night out into a whirl-a-hurl of emotion is unnerving. I can’t comprehend the commanding lead that you have over my brain late at night. Frankly, I'm concerned.

“I haven’t talked to him all week. I don’t even want to be talking to him. Should I text him to make sure he knows I don’t want to be talking to him? Yes - great idea."

I wonder how girls managed to humiliate themselves when you didn't exit.

Back in the olden days, before everybody had you literally at their fingertips, I think I remember having actual conversations. I think they may have even been in person. It seems archaic, I know….the thought of two people meeting at the same location, sitting down and using extensive vocabulary beyond a certain number of “characters” to convey their feelings. Sooo old school.

And yet, I wonder. I wonder if I’d have felt fulfilled with our conversation, if the guy I had been seeing for 5 months had looked me in the eye and told me he doesn’t feel like he’s ready for a relationship. If I had seen the concern on his face and the struggle in his tone, maybe I would have been a little more understanding and compassionate. If I knew he took time out of his life, to sit with me and hold my hand while I got upset, maybe I would have walked away feeling like this all sucks, but in the end it will be okay.

Instead, the end started through you.  An entire evening’s worth of back and forth, sending and receiving, getting nowhere. The whole thing left me with such a feeling of dissatisfaction, of unworthiness. Seeing the words “I’m sorry” in my inbox does not convey remorse no matter how many times he sends it.

The worst part is it’s my fault. It’s my fault he felt it was okay to “discuss things” through you, because I allowed it to happen. I fed the fire instead of putting it out as soon as I felt things were off. It would have been so easy to say “let’s talk about this next time we see each other”. We owed it to each other and you handicapped us.... but I allowed it all to happen.

And so, I “move on”. I go out to the bars and throw a few back. I’ll smile at the cute boys and ignore the short ones. I will genuinely have a good time. Will I habitually check my phone to see if he’s thinking of me? Yes. Will I answer right away if he says he misses me? Yes. Will it be anything worth believing in the morning? No. Conversations are meant to be conversed. The convenience of using you, text messaging, is nice, but a discussion is not meant to be convenient. It will take much, much longer to get over this boy than it would have if we didn’t lean on you for everything.

But, here’s my clichĂ© to all of this – you live and learn. And I bet you didn't see that one coming!

Mark my words! Text them to all the nations! I will never allow you to be the driver in a relationship of mine. I will use you for convenience and convenience only! Maybe some funny jokes/media messages too.

So - boys? Saddle up. You’re going to have to actually talk. If you want to spend time with me, I’d like you to ask me while we are in a situation where I can look at your face. I’d like to see your nervous smile and see you stumble over your words. I'd like to feel you being genuine to me instead of assuming it.

No proof reading what you say while you use our friend, text messaging… we’re live, baby! And I’m not talking about Skype, either!!

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