don’t text and jive

“There’s over a thousand ways to communicate in our world today  
and it’s a shame that we don’t connect…”
-TLC, Communicate

There’s a couple of cell phone related rants I’d to share with you.

First of all, I’m so annoyed when I see people on their cell phones all the time.  It’s especially apparent at my job.  As soon as these kids get off work, their cell phone is next to their ear before they even leave the building.  They are on it when they take their cigarette break or go to the bathroom.  They are on it before they clock in and as soon as they clock out.  Constantly talking to someone.

I know several coworkers who text during their entire shift.  One guy keeps his phone on a shelf behind his department and one girl straight up keeps hers in her cleavage and as soon as the boss is out of sight, she whips it out and starts texting away.

Maybe I’m just jealous because no one ever calls me but I find it really annoying.  I mean, there’s nothing wrong with communicating with people but do you constantly have to be talking to someone every minute of every day?  Maybe there’s just no one in my life that I feel I have to constantly be interacting with or maybe I just understand that when I’m at work, I’m supposed to be working.

It’s like, people, we can take five minutes away from the cell phones.  It will be okay.

Another thing that I can’t stand is when I’m hanging out with someone but they are playing with their phone the whole time, either texting or getting phone calls from other people and then engaging in a conversation with the caller.

I always thought when you hang out with someone, it’s supposed to be about giving attention to and receiving attention from that person.  Right?  I know my social skills are severely lacking but I thought I at least knew that much.  So, it seems to disrupt that delicate balance of attention seeking/giving when the person completely disengages with you and begins to give their attention over to the caller.

Once, I was driving an acquaintance to an eatery when she got a phone call and then spent ten minutes talking to the person.  Meanwhile, I sat there and felt perplexed.  I was completely forgotten about while she shifted all of her focus into her Blackberry.

I just think it’s rude and I’ve pointed it out to other people but they don’t seem to think it is.  Maybe I’m too old-fashioned or maybe I just don’t understand these new ways in which people communicate.  But, to me, that’s not communicating.  All this texting and mindless minute-by-minute chattering has diminished true communication.  When you can blurt out any thing at any time, there’s no more filter.  Nothing needs to be decided or edited because the connection is constant.  No one is having to pour time and energy into writing a letter or even an e-mail anymore!  Because it takes no effort to converse, no effort is given to conveying something meaningful.

And lastly, let’s recall what I said about how people are on their cell phones all the time.  Well, there is an exception to that observation.  They are always on their cell phones until I need to call them.  Then, suddenly, they don’t have their phone with them or can’t talk, even though they can talk to to other people when I’m with them.  It drives me insane when I text someone, hoping they’ll reply right away, expecting they will because I always see them with their phone, but magically when I’m trying to get a hold of them, it’s turned off or they lost it or it’s on silent and they didn’t get the message.  So annoying.

What’s worse than that is when someone calls me and I can’t talk for whatever reason so I tell them I will call them right back and I do immediately call them back and then they don’t answer.  It’s like, where did you go?  That not only happens with acquaintances but with customers at work as well.  They will call and ask a question and I tell them I need to investigate it but it shouldn’t take longer than two minutes and then when I call back, I get their voicemail.  What happened in that two-minute time span?  How were you suddenly pulled away from your phone when I told you I’d call you right back?  And why does it take someone sometimes hours to call me back?

I guess I’ll never understand.  But in some ways, I’m glad I don’t.  I’m glad my phone isn’t constantly buzzing and chirping.  All that social overload would probably drive me further into my hermit status.  Plus, because of the limited amount of cellular communication I come across, it’s a bit more special when my phone does ring or light up with a text message.

But, the problems persist.  And as cell phone technology advances, communication will most likely decrease.  Pretty soon all people will have to do is express themselves through grunting because articulating words with tongues and parting lips is too much of a hassle in this fast-paced world.

Communication will come full circle.  We’ll be the new cavemen, clubbing each other over the head with our texts and tweets, running away and hiding away from humanity in our caves with our smart phones that don’t require us to be smart because they auto correct our spelling.  The meaning of our words will be muddled without facial cues and body language.  We will grunt and bark and bite and make clicking noises with our tongues and we will never say anything at all.

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