Denison Witmer – These Days
Back in the Dark Ages, when I was just a young wee lad in my College Years, texting wasn’t that big of a deal yet. If you wanted to grab lunch with somebody, you called them. If they didn’t answer, you left a voicemail knowing that there was a real possibility they’d actually listen to the message. You may have even put some sort of thought into the words you spoke after the beep. If someone wanted to turn you down, they at least had to do it voice-to-voice. Nowadays, the laws have changed. The blessing of texting for many has felt more like a curse for me.
Sure I miss hearing people, but I’m also not so sure texting has made life easier. You see, I also miss the quick 2 minute conversations that took place in one phone call instead of 10-minute-long text-travaganzas over what you’re doing this weekend in bite-size samples of 160 characters or less. Texting also gets complicated. You’re never quite sure whether to respond one more time or to let the conversation just end. Also, people try to make abbreviations that can be confusing and misleading…and dare I say, potentially cause kids to forget (or never really learn) that there’s a real distinction between “Ur”, “Your”, and “You’re”. There’s got to be a way to patch all of this up. Let’s start a revolution and do something about it. My friend Zach will, I’m sure, wax eloquently (and potentially violently) about texting as well in the days to come, but as for now…here’s a few of my ground rules with texting.
1 / No saying “No” over a text message just because it’s easier that way. If it’s something really minor and insignificant, throw it down all you want. But if you’re backing out of an arrangement you’ve already made with somebody, follow this rule: have the gall / give ’em a call. Not quite as catch as I was hoping for there, but you get the point regardless. Further important stipulation of this law: no breaking up over a text message (no asking out either…and definitely no proposing!).
2 / Be absolutely clear at all times. In preaching, we sometimes try to make our “three points” all begin with the same letter. Lame, right? Even more lame, though, if we’re just forcing it. At all times, try to be precise and as clear as possibile.
3 / If we’re going to be forced to use abbreviations, lets agree on a few. If someone asks you a quick yes or no question, “Y” stands for “Yes” and “N” stands for “No”. “Y” does not stand for “Why”. That’s just confusing. Also, are we going with “LOL” or “HAHA” or “HEHE” or are those three distinct forms of laughter? What about “TAHEHE”? Does that get left out? Wait, does anybody really laugh like that anyway. Enough said. Do let’s decide: can we just type “LAUGH”? That would crack me up. Could sort of sound like an order or demand though. Hmm…for clarity’s sake, I’m sticking to “HAHA”. It just looks funny and for some reason I always sound out “haha” instead of just thinking that someone was simply trying to convey laughter. Kind of like when you’re learning a new language and you always sound out the word instead of just thinking of its meaning. Hilarioso.
4 / There needs to be a way to end the conversation. You see, I’m the kind of guy who’s always got one more thing to say. You never noticed that about me, though…right? Forget it. People like me need a leash. If you’re not looking for never-ending hilariously witty comments, don’t send me a text message. Once I get rolling, I’m like Will Ferrell’s desire to be awkwardly naked in every single movie he’s in…I’m unstoppable. You see, for some reason truckers understand the over-and-out concept, but we’ve yet to catch on. I propose a couple of astericks at the end of the final message. From then on, no more writing back and forth. The discussion has been dropped.** (quick disclaimer: you are not allowed to use the double asterick in a way that is detrimental to a relationship. i.e. don’t use it in the same manner as you would to “hang up” on a person over the phone. By the way, don’t do that either! Lame…)
5 / Finally, only text if you have to. You have the green light when it really does make life easier, otherwise, give a friend a ring. There’s still nothing like hearing someone’s voice.
Agree? Disagree? Thoughts? Leave a line and we’ll see what we come up with. Until then, like Ryan Seacrest, I’m out.**