Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reading Between the Lines

I've decided to stop texting. Well, not actually stop but at least cut back.

Part of the problem with today's so-called "communication" is that it misses the nuance of sarcasm, humor and tone. This is particularly true when texting to family members with whom you have not spoken in...oh...a week or more. So much happens in one's day-to-day life that colors our moods: Stress at work; lack of sleep; pent up anger; the feeling of being overwhelmed. And those are the positive things!

Now, you are sitting with your phone. Those tiny keys seem like they are responding to some demonic specter and not to your fingers. You are finally "conversing" with your family member - you think - but something is being lost in the translation. Frustration follows. You start reading between the lines.

"Is he being serious or sarcastic?"

"I know I'm speaking English..."


That's the rub: No one is listening; especially not me. I am typing on an impossibly small device. Words are floating through cyberspace but there is no communication. There is no inflection; there is no tone. There is an array of emoticons. :-) :-D :P :-(

I am going to stop texting. Well, not actually stop but at least cut back. I am returning to my real keyboard, and to trying to find that actual voice that translates across phone lines and cell phones.

Is anyone out there listening? I hope so...

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