Monday, March 31, 2014

Texting rehab

I was talking to a young person (32). Well, not talking--emailing. See? Even I do it. Emailing and texting are not the same as talking on the phone or meeting with someone.

For one thing, emailing and texting are a way to distance. On the phone if someone gets angry or lovey-dovey, you have to deal with it--in texts, delete.

Emailing and texting are also poor ways to communicate. They are uninflected. I can email--really great idea and if I don't put (sarc), someone will think I think it's a really great idea.

All of this can be accomplished better on the phone or in person--less clunky, jargony and dopey. The young person I emailed said come to think of it. he almost never used his phone to phone people.

Actually--he said a few emails later--he hardly ever talked to anyone anyhow except at work.

So now we can't have a conversation.

I said what about bars--he said in LA, people think you want something from them. I said you can't shoot the breeze? He said well, maybe in hole in the wall places. I think he meant neighborhood bars. Those are great and I miss them like fire myself!

So do you feel isolated? Try coming back to the Land of the Speaking.

1) Never IM or text or email the person in the next cube. Speak!

2) Never hold a difficult conversation via text--example, breaking up with someone. Texting the address of the lunch place is OK--but real interaction?

3) Talk on your phone once a day--then go to twice a day--make an effort.

4) Get out among breathing humans. My young friend finally said he did talk to people at the Dog Park--so, whew, dogs can be an icebreaker...So can weather, believe it or not, or sports, or even that lost plane or something else in the news.

Learn to talk all over again.

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