“Did I say too much?”
“Did I say too little?”
“OMG! Should I have used a smiley? Now, he/she might think I was being serious!”
“I know he/she has read it, why won’t he/she respond to me?”
“I never want to talk to them. Aaarghh why did I respond to them in the group?!! Now they’ll think I am trying to make a conversation.”
“Let them! I have to put up a show for the other group members. If I don’t say anything, they are going to ask me what’s wrong.”
Read, read, re read, decode, overanalyze and lose your sleep.
Lose your sleep, lose your mind and text something stupid and make things worse.
Life was so much simpler before texting came in. Simpler with respect to relationships. More often than not, you made friends, lost friendships, found your love, broke up with them, in person. Not in a one liner as a text message.
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad texting is available, especially with WhatsApp. You can leave a message when it’s not urgent, have a conversation over a period of days, and chat with multiple people together, what with the million groups we all are in. But when, this becomes a basis of almost every relationship, it’s time to get worried.
I resisted texting for a long time. I disliked it. The jokes and forwards seemed like a waste of time and I hated waiting for a response. I would rather pick up the phone and have a quick conversation. But, I finally gave in. Everyone was on it. It was and is the cheapest/free mode of communication, given you are in a wifi zone.
This was during the same time I made a lot of new friends, so it was the perfect way to know each other. You aren’t at the comfort level to call each other, so a “Wassup?” was ideal to start a conversation. There were times when I would be simultaneously having conversations with multiple people on groups and in private chats. There were days when I just did this. Chat. Chat. And chat some more.
But like any other vice, I got bored of this. A major change/upheaval in my personal life helped in accelerating it. I even blocked my last seen and read notifications. I didn’t want to see who was ignoring me and I didn’t want people to know that they weren’t my priority. Now, I use it, when I have to. And so now, I am on the outside, looking at all the people so hooked on to it. People, I termed the WhatsApp generation in my earlier post.
Relationships were made and lost in a few text messages. People fell in love and found their soul mates over texts. People swore their undying loyalty to friends over texts. And, IRL? In real life, it was nothing close to that. Love disappeared over the first disagreement and friendships broke the moment the first hurdle came across.
Why is this the way it is? This is my understanding of it. My observations based on my own personal experiences.
Saying what you want to, through texts has a sense of detachment to it. It’s much easier. It can induce a false sense of reality. You, sitting with your phone, with your thoughts, in your own head. There isn’t one external factor, not one bit of the real world showing you what the truth is or can be. Easy to let your emotions take hold of you and say what you would never say otherwise.
Typing, “I am there for you. You are one of my closest friends” is very different from actually being there next to that person, holding their hand and saying the same. So, you say this and a ton of bullshit and announce to the world that you are BFFs. Hello life!! Problem walks in through the door and you walk out. Actually you don’t walk out, because you were actually never ever even there! You make a new bunch of friends or find a new lover and send the same texts to them now.
This is me ranting here about this. The WhatsApp generation actually doesn’t mind it all. They thrive like a weed in a field of placid posies. They love this state of transient relationships. Makes me wonder, do they have a repository of statements which can be switched from one recipient to the other? The, “You are my bestie”, “You really mean a lot to me”, “I haven’t met someone like you”, come and go. They are passed around quicker than a bottle of crown. Screenshots from private chats are passed on to other people. They were discussed in a private chat for a reason. How is it so easy for someone to just share it with others, breaking the sender’s trust? Then again, the sender is probably sending your side of conversation to their bunch of friends.
Even arguments and misunderstandings have to be resolved over texting. Texting being the reason for the misunderstanding. What happened to good old, sit down and talk it through?
I am just too old for this. My head reels just thinking about it all. I type what I mean. So, I am left confused with all the, “That was just a joke.” “That’s how you say it.” Which parts are jokes and which are real? I have been thinking that I would filter my future influx of friends based on their age. Only people above 30 get a chance. Hoping that they too grew up with real relationships and not with the ones their phones have. People I would be able to sit and have a conversation with and not just send midnight texts. If you are below 30 and can do this.. Hello you!
If you are one of these addicted people and you have old boring friends/partners like me and you don’t want to confuse them, just follow these simple instructions. If they need help, don’t text “I am there for you, always”, get your ass moving and be there. If you are tempted to proclaim your love. Don’t text “I love you” or “LU.” (How lazy can u get?!!!) Imagine they are standing right in front of you and you are looking into their eyes and saying it out loud. Using real words. Don’t have the balls for it? Then don’t text! Simple!!
And, if you are my friend and want to catch up with me, please meet me for dinner or a coffee where we can talk like humans were meant to. If you are busy, call me and I would love to hear your voice. But, if you can’t or won’t do either of this ever, then please. Text me not.