I remember I didn’t get my first cell phone until 2004, entering my junior year of college. I also have a good memory of sitting at the top of the stadium seats at a packed basketball game at Dillard and sitting next to my friend when my phone buzzed on my hip. I pulled it out and much to my chagrin it was a message that was offering certain lewd and lascivious services. I showed my friend, who’s mouth dropped, and then she was totally at a loss for words when I scrolled down and revealed the name of who it was. Needless to say, I was shocked and I definitely DID NOT respond.
In early 2005, text messaging was still in its early stages, people only having 100 or 200 paid for text messages and this idea of texting as we do now embarking on 2008 was a foreign concept, at least for me it was. Now, I have unlimited messaging. This started with my T-mobile Sidekick II and from then on, it was a wrap. Between sent and received messages, I’ve had as many as 5,200 text messages in a one month billing period, so I know just how much text messaging is now a part of the everyday landscape.
However, I wonder jsut how disconnected we as humans are when it comes to many things technological. I also have Yahoo Instant Messenger (phynest_in_da_504 for those who would like to hit me up) which prevents me from picking up the same cell phone and minimally talking to the person over the phone; we’ve become so impersonal and out of touch with one another it’s kind of scary. Realistically, the proposition that I got from this person would not have occurred over the phone, let alone in person because if it had occured in person, there would have been a discrepancy where their face would have hit my fist. But it seems that technology is this veil that we hide behind as people.
Are we that afraid of what people may think or may say to us that we feel only comfortable to send it in an instant message on Yahoo or AIM, or send it in an Honesty Box message on Facebook where the sender is anonymous (let’s not get started on what messages I’ve received from that unholy creation) or randomly adding people we’re attracted to on Myspace. Here’s a case-in-point even more egregious than my own incident with text messaging. I had a friend who had to temporarily delete their Facebook page because of what was sent in an Honesty Box and it resulted in a nasty fight between associates and a break-up of a relationship.
Which begs the question about internet dating. As I have many friends and associates who are quite familiar with internet dating (and I must admit that I tried it for a quick minute and was convinced this is for the birds) and still are and they have had so many horror stories about who they met and what happened, and what got sent through text messages and instant messages. Well, duh! If you met people the old fashioned way, IN PERSON, be it in a club or through a friend, some of those issues wouldn’t exist.
Well, maybe this is just the further move down the continuum of individualised philosophy, “I think, therefore I am.” There used to be a time where one cared about another’s feelings enough where a break-up wouldn’t occur in a text message. Or even that you valued the person enough to merely just see their reaction in person or hear their voice. I have friends whom I went to college with, and I consider them good friends, but I only talk to them every few months, and its weird when I do, because at least once a week, I have conversations with them through text messaging.
We’ve become so dehumanized that it feels weird to have conversations in person. We rationalize saying that it’s cheaper to text because we have a certain amount of minutes, yet unlimited texting. Hopefully, we’ll see a shift in this, back towards talking to people in person and engaging the people with which we wish to communicate our feelings and emotions.
Keep it uppity, JLL
Lovers turn to text message to say it’s over
Fri Dec 14, 7:54 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) – U R dumped — one in seven say they have suffered the same fate as Britney Spears’ ex-husband and been told it’s all over via text message or email, a survey said on Friday.
While hiding behind technology might appear a cowardly way of splitting up, it contrasts with the four percent who simply drop all communication with their lovers without notice.
“Most of us send emails and texts everyday, so it comes as no surprise they are now being used to ditch someone — however distasteful this is,” said Rob Barnes from moneysupermarket.com, which carried out the survey.
“The results show one per cent of the population would use a social networking site to dump a partner. It would be interesting to see how this changes as sites such as Facebook and MySpace become more apparent in our everyday lives.”
One of the most high-profile victims of dumping by text was Kevin Federline, who reportedly received news that pop singer Spears was filing for divorce while being filmed for a television show.
The survey said 15 percent of the 2,194 people questioned had been dumped by text or email, although a quarter of those in the most tech-savvy 18 to 24-year-old age group would choose the traditional method — a letter.
(Reporting by Michael Holden)