That's the time I feel like making text to you
Before I rant about texting, and I assure you I have a rant built up, let me say for the record that I think instantaneous communication is one of the miracles of the modern world. The stuff of myth and legends is filled with being able to hear the thoughts of your beloved from the other side of the planet, and we can do that today. It is truly something marvelous.
But the way people use it irritates the hell out of me.
Let me go through a few situations where texting is just plain wrong.
Texting While Driving. Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me.
I thought about the use of profanity in my blog posting, but honestly, there isn't anything else to say here. Texting and driving is just the stupidest thing I can think of. You're already using your eye-hand coordination center of your brain to adjust the velocity and direction of thousands of pounds of steel and glass.
I don't actually expect you to calculate the energy that will be released when the mass of you, your vehicle and your passengers come to a sudden stop because you couldn't find the O while typing LOL but... but if one kid with one bouncing ball suddenly pops in front of you and a whole lot of tragedy is gonna happen.
Texting at a Stop Light You're complaining about traffic on Twitter and when you look up you notice the light has changed and there's a big gap between you and the car that was in front of you. You gun it and make it through the light just before it turns red.
And I'm I'm stuck at the red light.
The reason is simple. You know those weird little boxes you see on the street around traffic lights? Those are magnetic loops. They sense whether there is a car passing over or not. So if you're behind those loops and all the other cars go, the traffic signal gets the message that all the cars have gone by, and it changes the signal to red so the street with traffic on it can go.
Only there IS traffic. It just got stuck behind some idiot who wasn't paying attention because they were texting about how bad the traffic was.
Texting while walking It's like trying to get to an appointment with the only walkable path being down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Everyone is drunk... Staggering around, stopping randomly, completely unaware of their surroundings.
Only they aren't drunk. They're texting. They might as well be on another planet, because they certainly aren't aware of where they are right now. I want to be clear, I think the idea of being conencted is great (as I talked about in my blog You Are Never Alone). But just because you want to whisper sweet nothings in the ear of your love doesn't negate the fact that you're blocking the sidewalk.
It's gotten so bad that the Chinese city of Chongqing has created special pedestrian lanes for people who want to walk and text. It reminds me of the "ladies only" train cars they put on in Tokyo because they had to separate drunk business men from polite society. That's right. Texting while walking is like being a gropey, drunk Japanese businessman.
Texting at Dinner Before there was texting there was voice. We would hate the guy talking on his phone at the next table. And if the guy was at OUR table? Well, ostracizing wasn't enough. Ostracization and then complaining about him for the rest of his life was just the start.
Only now we all grab our phones and text people. It seems less intrusive, but we all know it isn't. There's the game of "stacking" where everyone puts their phones in the middle of the table and whoever picks theirs up first has to pay the tab for everyone. (I have to admit to losing this game more than once).
It is true that this one bothers people more as they get older. Or maybe it bothers older people more. But the problem is that we're supposed to be engaged in the world that we are in, and texting someone who isn't there not only says the world that you're sharing with people around you isn't interesting, but you just can't be bothered to be in it.
Texting While Bicycling I have to admit to having pulled my phone out and dialed a call while slowly riding up a hill. I had my hands free earpiece so the phone went back in the jersey pocket as soon as my brother answered. The entire time I was worried about dropping the phone. Classic misplaced sense of priorities. Not that I would hit something and fall, or that I wouldn't notice the car pulling out in front of me. No, I was worried about the phone.
But texting while riding? Looking down, reading small print and then pecking out small characters on a tiny screen? I've seen this too many times to think that it's just an occasional Cirque du Soleil acrobat practicing for the next big act -- the eye-hand coordination required to even fish the phone out of your pocket while on your bike is amazing enough, the rest it just... astounding.
Texting in the toilet Did you know that one in six phones is contaminated with fecal mater? (Time Magazine) Do you know how so many people get shit on their phones? It's because they can't be bothered to put them down while on the can.
Look... I know. We've all done it. But can you name any other thing that you carry with you all the time that you touch in the bathroom? Do you pull your car keys out and jangle them for a jaunty diversion while you're pooping? Do you sort your credit cards while on the can?
It's just kind of weird. It doesn't inconvenience me that much if you decide to play a game of scramble while scooting. But it could be a problem if you don't wash your hands AND YOUR PHONE.
I'm not saying that the Ebola outbreak in Africa is caused by texting while you bomb the porcelain sea, but I've gotta think the CDC has to be tracking this behavior for things like E Coli and Cholera.
Texting after Sex See Texting at Dinner... And get a life.
Really, this is just the settling in period. We have this new tech that we don't really know what to do with. I'm sure the rants about people with cars at the start of the 20th century were similar. But if you're tired of Text rants... Google Glass is just around the corner!
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Be sure to see my blog over at Cloudenity. This week's topic:
Identity Isn't Just for Users Anymore