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Monday, August 20, 2012

Communication Conundrum

 It’s 2012 and we have so many ways to communicate, it is almost overwhelming.

Home phones, cell phones, pay phones, texting, emailing, IMing……  Everyone knows that the pay phone is strictly the tool of the drug dealer and the man having an affair… Actually probably just the man having the affair.  Drug dealers love their technology, so I’m told.

How, with this veritable smorgasbord of communication options, is there still a lack of it?

Most people I know, with very few exceptions, have their cellular phones with them at all times.  I can’t say that I’ve ever even been on a date where the other party’s phone didn’t make at least one appearance.  I’m not offended by it, although I’ve heard many say that they think it’s rude.  Maybe I’d be offended if he was texting another woman and not his child, like he told me.  If someone texted throughout our entire date, I’d have a problem with that.  Thankfully, that’s never happened.

Sometimes, I choose not to reply to a text, I miss a text if I get a flurry of them all at once, I fall asleep during texting conversation. But I would say that 95% of the time I promptly return text messages.
Instant messages, however, are not always replied to as promptly.  I almost look at an IM like an email.  If someone needed to reach me urgently, they would text.
I know that you’re thinking “If someone wanted to reach TrippyBeth urgently, why wouldn’t they just call her?”

TrippyBeth HATES talking on the phone.  HATE HATE HATE HATE IT!!

And, I hate listening to voice mails.  My voice mail message even says that I may not listen to the message you are leaving.  Which seems to be offensive to some people “Well…? I hope you listen to this message.” I can see that I missed a call from said person, when I notice this; I’ll determine whether or not I can actually tolerate listening to the message.  A large percentage of the time, I cannot, so I don’t.

This particular little habit of mine could be bringing Karma’s wrath down upon me.

Not that this happens often, but it has happened over the last few years….

“My phone died and I didn’t recharge it.”  From someone who conducts actual business from their phone.  And this same person seemed highly offended when I doubted the story…. Methinks he doth protest too much.

“There is something wrong with my phone; I’ve been sending you messages.”  I am suspicious about this one too. 

Although I once had a Palm go into text failure.  Took me a while to realize what was going on.  I spent an entire weekend thinking that no one liked me anymore, because no one would return a text.  The following Monday morning, a friend called “Where are you?” he asked.  “At work, why?” I replied.  “I’ve been texting you all weekend and you never replied.”

It seems everyone thought that I was either just plain rude or crazy busy.

Once the technical issue was discovered, I trekked out to the AT&T store… they saw me coming…..  I could get a Blackberry for $.01 with an upgrade, so this was what I fully intended to do.
I made the mistake of pausing in front of the iPhone display.

$200 later, I walked out with an iPhone.  I’m a sucker.  Now, I can hardly live without it.

There could also be a catastrophe that would cause someone to lose all of their numbers, I had this happen once when my first iPhone took a shit and someone had not backed up her contacts.  But that would only explain not initiating a text, wouldn’t explain not returning one.

“I lost my phone!”  But now, conveniently “I found it!”  I’d probably believe this one if it only happened ONE time.

I’ve heard other people say that they were given the “I was asleep” excuse…. But they could see that the person’s Facebook status was being updated, via their phone, while they said they were asleep.

Busted by your own technology…  That can’t be a good feeling.

Sometimes, when someone doesn’t reply to me, my imagination goes wild.  Are they sick? Dying? In a ditch?

If someone is in the middle of a true emergency or actively dying, I don’t expect a reply. 

But if you’re not, be courteous…. REPLY… even if to tell me to “Fuck off” 
It seems that the person who chooses not to reply is the person that holds the power, in whatever type of relationship it is. Therefore, making the simple act of communicating into a game, where there is no fun or prizes.

So……… if at some point in the future, you and I are communicating in some not-in-person mode, and you don’t want to continue, grow some balls and tell me to “Fuck off”. 

Be a grown-up about it and tell me why….

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