Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call of the beWILDered...

A few years ago, my friend David said to me that he thought that cell phones were the death knell of planning. This was after we had set a rather general meeting place, which turned out to be jam-packed with people. Whoops. And to make matters worse, I only knew his phone number by the word that it spelled out on the phone keys. Oh dear. My cell phone doesn’t have letters on the number keys. (Note to RIM – please create a screen where we can see the old keys, with the ABC, DEF. Pretty please?)

David seemed mostly annoyed that it was more crowded than we expected so I just rolled my eyes, and told him that he was being cranky, but after trying to establish a specific meeting point with someone who was cell-less, recently, I realized that he might be right. (And I hate it when he’s right.)

I rarely set up a time and place to meet anymore! My friends and I just triangulate as we go. And this can sound a bit Kafkaesque, actually.
Friend – What’s up? Wanna get together? I’m in your ‘hood.
Me – Sure. Where are you?
Friend - Corner of North&Damen. Wanna meet? Where R U?
Me – Me too. I’m at N&D now! Er, I don’t see you. Which corner?
Friend – Not there YET. Hang on.


Of course, if I used that iPhone stalker app which tracks your friends (!) then I would have known from the GPS signal that she wasn’t there, yet.

Another friend recently told me that she thought that text messaging was sounding the death knell for dating. That the guy she was dating was substituting text messages for actual communication. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think that 145 characters is the basis for a meaningful relationship. Maybe it is. How should I know? I’m no expert. (By my reckoning, it might actually improve things for some people.)

All I know is that if this is the case, we’re going to have to stop using grown-up words, or come up with a whole new set of acronyms for use in relationship-texting: EU = emotionally unavailable, NC = non-communicative, or is that non-committal? INYIM= it’s not you, it’s me.

And really, what does a stony silence sound like on text message?

I still like the telephone. Don’t get me wrong. I love to text message and I send PINs. I e-mail and tweet, but if you said to me “Great. I’ll talk to you later,” I expect a phone call. And if you don't call, then INMIY!

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