No Text Back!!!?????

e94b1011d24e2736c519f5a8bb757653What is Netiquette? Basically acceptable conduct on the net. Don’t get excited, I don’t have anything terribly deep or exciting to share. I’m not a fan of social media;  I’m also not one of those that simply advocates that the value of all things is entirely determined by use. Environments host structures of meaning which however elastic nonetheless are the oxygen in which all forms of engagement come to life! One thing in particular disturbs me regarding netiquette: texting. Like all forms of inter-human communication, texting is not immune to various inter-gender, inter-sexual, inter-political plays. So ya, as a young girl I recall how boys wouldn’t return calls right away in order to jack up their sense of self-worth and invariably put me – any girl – in her place! “Dude, wtf, don’t be such a douchebag,  there’s protocol!!! Call backs before the 3-day grace period make you a puts! She’ll think you’re desperate and that she’s worthless!!! And whatever you do, do not, I repeat DO NOT even acknowledge her at school. If you see her in the corridors, turn quickly away.  How else will she know how lucky she is to have your attention??!!!” At first dejected, girls soon learned how to read silent gestures and boys soon learned to follow standardized plays. We learned early on not to ever say what we mean, and to be “clear” in our overt indifference. It’s truly a miracle people ever get together at all!

Texting has just exacerbated the ridiculous! Bling, bling!!! Noises familiar to anyone with a phone these days! Bling, bling! Hey you have friends! (as my daughter mockingly likes to say!) Email? Text? A notification? Whatever it is, you’ve been notified!! So that means when I send an email or text, unless you find yourself in Bermuda-wifi Triangle, any delay in response must be owned to time-management of sorts. Essentially, the recipient goes through a process at lightning speed, and delegates your importance cross-checked against all other notifications and whatever (if ever) s/he is doing at the moment. It essentially tells you how important you are to that person, or at least how important they conceive themselves to be in deference to you. Some of us will only occupy enough importance to keep one “company” sitting on the can, waiting for their dental appointment, or in temporary partner-absentia (as when they’ve gone to the can…hahahaha). Others aren’t so lucky, and find themselves lost in cyberspace or lockdown! I’d laugh if it weren’t so tragic!

Somehow I’ve never felt empowered by making people wait. I relish not casting others into the land of oblivion. Lapses are suspended moments occupied by silence, the gravity of which are as palpable (often more) an experience of derision as the most caustic of words (it is actually a very distinct kind of derision). I’m not suggesting that all communications are created equal – I’d hope my family and lover would as a rule be motivated to get to me first – but that’s just the point, right? Immediacy suggests care: it says, you matter to me. It says you matter. I’m not oblivious to these plays – not by a long shot – but I don’t care enough to permit it to define my level of engagement. Who the hell decided these damn protocols anyway? 3 days not 2 or 1 day? WTF??!! I don’t feel more enticed by rejection; only bored and literally dis-engaged…so, ya….BORED!

Stranger, newbie, student, acquaintance, colleague, inquisitor? They all get a response from me! And all with equal care (time-permitting, of course) and consideration of their existential import. So yes, text me and I will as a rule respond as immediately as life circumstances permit. Clearly such scenarios are ever more comically and disturbingly realized amongst those with whom you share intimate historical ties – ach, existential anomie overwhelms…until boredom sets in! Until then I remain deliriously amused!

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4 thoughts on “No Text Back!!!?????

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  1. More or less happily, I think, I don’t text. Really, the only thing I do along these lines is exchange info back & forth with my wife which seems timely when we are not in proximity. “Running later than usual, Liam having fun at playground.” Maybe with accompanying photo when I’m feeling techno-savvy. But I get your point. It must be very strange, stranger than we (I) can intuit, to grow up in a social world where emails, texts, sexts, and pings have assumed equal or greater importance than bona fide physical interactions. And I am trying to pay more attention to this for the benefit of my sone, who is still only 5 and still operates with delightful simultaneity in life. I do everything I can to try and encourage and praise his naive directness.

    I think a big complicating factor within the social media morass is the seamless blending of casual and serious communications, often within the same burst, and the corresponding lack of human context which is promoted. I feel fortunate to have had my formative years before the onset of all this stuff, so I can clearly see why real trumps virtual. But I worry about those forming now. I just try and emanate as much authenticity as I can muster. (Itself, sometimes exhausting.)

    Thanks for post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly, this virtual world isn’t going anywhere. I am not off-line, as it were, and have created online friendships (nothing untoward!!!!), mostly amongst like professional minded individuals, which leaves me indebted to this medium! But, whether on or offline I’m mindful to treat people with care. The virtual distance easily screens (see what I did there?! hahahaha) personalized comportment rendering the other nothing more than a convenience. My children? I’m thrilled that neither post anything ever at all. They don’t indulge as they consider it narcissistic, self-soothing to the desperate ultimately failing ego. Gotta love them kids! They often put me in my place! Thanks for reaching out stolzyblog!

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