By Alison Leigh
I’m sure we’ve all done it- misconstrued a text from someone we care about and after giving it 3 seconds worth of thought, or sometimes 3 hours, we ATTACK. If you don’t have a super awesome high tech phone then you know the drill. Text alert. Followed by a series of text alerts. Oh shit this is a long one. If you have an iphone then you get one alert and open it to find the most long-winded run-on sentence of anger you’ve ever seen. You read it, panicked, skipping over half the words only picking out the ones that are screaming at you– YOU! I! Tired of this! FUCK! OVER! NEVER! CONSTANTLY! etc.. in a flurry of quietude you tap away your response. SEND. Fling phone somewhere far enough away to prove a point, close enough away to not harm your precious device or make it too hard to go get it when it inevitably notifies you of the response. Or even worse, the NO RESPONSE. Ugh that is torture. You wait and wait and wait til you get that beep. Finally! Open message – “Hi sweetie it’s mom! Wondering if we’ll see you this sunday at dinner?” AAARRRG! You reply “Not sure” and return to sitting there seething. Mom thinks you hate her and have taken up a life of crime.
Why do we do this to each other? Haven’t we realized that texting is like, THE dumbest way to communicate with loved ones? Well here’s a reason. Maybe the person you’re dealing with is an arguer, or maybe they love to hangup on you. Maybe they have people standing around them and can’t be themselves and haven’t the wherewithal to say “Hey, now isn’t the best time to talk but can I call you later? I want to sort this out”. No, that would be asking too much. So we text. And text. And fight. And dig a hole 6 feet deep for us to bury our sad pathetic little selves into. Humans- why don’t we get it?
The weird part is, you could be hanging out with your 90 year old great-grandmother watching It’s A Wonderful Life while having one of these silent but deadly text wars and
she would be none the wiser. As you exclaim profanities that would cause that poor woman to rescind every message inside every holiday card she’s ever sent you in your entire life, you expressionlessly tap tap tap your phone with words so harsh you may actually go to hell. She sits calmly thinking about whatever old ladies think about in their minds (Recipes? Trips down memory lane? Who the fuck knows) waiting for you to put the phone down and have some tea with her. Seriously, how mean are you??
I came across this article and I truly feel no one could have said it better. She perfectly captures the essence of the misery we all bring into our lives via this sinister form of communication. I urge you to read it and pass it along.
I am currently, right now, as a write this article, losing a relationship with a guy I really like due to arguing over text messages. Do I feel stupid as hell? Yes. Do I wish I could start over and handle this whole thing a lot differently? Definitely. Is there any hope for us to work this out? Nope.* Done deal. Finito. I’d be surprised if I ever heard from him again honestly. Watch out! This shiz is serious.
*note: we may actually be able to scrape this back together.. stay tuned..
I challenge each and every one of you to avoid text fighting for the rest of your lives. The next time things get strange, step back and request the person either meets with you face to face or calls you at a time where it is convenient and they are able to speak like a normal person. Let’s see if we can’t make something of ourselves, yes?