When did it become expected that we be attached to our phones? People can get at you all times of day and night. What are the boundaries? There used to be a time when people made plans to call each other.
They didn’t call during dinnertime.
They didn’t call when you’re sleeping in the early hours to ask “are you awake?”
They didn’t ask you to snail mail them snaps of your private bits after one date.
One of my texting pet peeves is when I read a text like this (which I seem to get especially from guys):
I don’t understand “hey” texts. How am I supposed to respond to “hey”?
When someone texts “hey”, I wonder: Do they just want to exchange short greetings? Is there a purpose to this text? If I reply, will I get drawn into a long textual conversation? A text novella?
“Hey. What’s up?”
“What u doin”
Is this rhetorical? Like when people ask, “How are you?” and then don’t listen for your answer?
Is he actually curious what I’m doing? What if he wants to do something and I just want to order pizza, lay around in my PJs and rainbow socks and watch stupid Lifetime movies? (Don’t judge me! Sometimes the allure of terrible, but snarkable TV movie fare such as, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story or the Tori Spelling classic, Mother May I sleep with Danger is too great. Anyway, I also watch 60 Minutes, so it balances out.)
“What u doin?”
“I’m [doing something really cool and impressive, yet believable]!”
“What are you up to?”
Argh! What am I supposed to say to that? What is the point of all of this?!
Nowadays, you see people whip out their phones at restaurants, tapping away as they ignore their tablemates; people with no home training lighting up their bright-ass screens in the middle of a dark movie theatre; of course, there’s the much maligned and dangerous texting while driving; the “almost never a good idea” act of drunk texting; and while I haven’t been in years, I bet you people are texting while churching and I know they’re not texting Jesus. What would Jesus do? Probably not text when he’s supposed to be listening to the word of his Father!
Don’t even get me started on the travesty of “text speak.”
What really gets me though, is the timing question. What is an acceptable window of time within which to return a text? Immediately? 10 minutes? An hour? Within 24 hours?
Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I prefer not feeling like I’m at my phone’s beck-and-call. I try to respond to texts in a timely fashion; I don’t want to be rude. If I don’t reply to a text right away, it’s more than likely not personal.
I am of the belief that my phone doesn’t run me; I run it!
It’s healthy to spend time apart from your phone and all its lights and bings and chimes.
If someone runs smack into a utility poll because of texting while walking, I don’t want to say they deserve it, but…
Sometimes all that connnectedness is disruptive and even stressful. Technology is meant to ease our lives; enhance it, not rule us and dictate our actions. It’s okay to tell your electronic companions, “I need some space.”