Wednesday 5 December 2012


The text turned 20 years old this week. Can you believe that? Twenty years of a new form of communication that has almost eradicated human dialogue in its natural state. I mean, let’s be honest, when is the last time you actually made a phone call? And during that phone call how many times did you think, ‘this really could’ve been handled by a simple text.’

Yes, that is what things have come to now, single sentences, an exclamation, or even a bunch of abbreviated shorthand that is supposed to make sense but I can never seem to figure out: ‘lmao, c u tbh wo brb fwiw’ (yes that sentence said absolutely nothing) all of it to apparently make our lives easier, quicker and prevent us from having conversations we do not want to be having.

Of course with the arrival of the text has come all sorts of downsides. The first and foremost, we don’t speak anymore to one another if we don’t have to (for many this is a good thing). Even with close friends, life has been reduced to a bunch of texts as opposed to an actual conversation. Not to mention what is occurring between couples. Yes I am woman enough to admit that I have had my fair share of text, ahem, disagreements with my husband. They are tedious, pointless, and I’m sure the phone company (or the government) finds reading all of our texts hysterical (or tediously mundane). And of course, one cannot forget what all this texting is costing us. If you don’t have a darn good plan, sending your best friend a litany of texts discussing where to meet can cost more than the meal you’re about to eat together.

Then there is my favorite; the text that contains something that you altogether did not mean (with that automatic feature on iPhones that just chooses the word that it thinks you want, well trouble is a given). I can’t tell you how many times I have sent texts that said things like, ‘I feel dick’ instead of sick, not to mention many other bastardations I then had to clarify in yet another text. Or how about those texts you send to the wrong person because you’re clearly not paying attention and you land yourself in a very embarrassing and often sticky situation. Maybe instead of throwing the text a birthday party we should be smacking it upside the head.

But of course it wouldn’t be fair if we also didn’t look at the upsides of the little wee text. Since its arrival, it also means that well...we don’t have to have longwinded pointless conversations that go nowhere with people we really don’t feel like speaking to. ‘So what are you doing? Nothing, what are you doing? Great….okay then…’ We can just send a short sentence like, ‘be right there.’ And there is no need for any superfluous communication. I mean seriously, who has the time? The other upside, you can always have the last word…or text. Or at least try your hardest to do this by turning off your phone right after you send a text; totally juvenile yes, but for some very satisfying.

So little text, happy birthday. Thanks to you, I’m sure it’s only a question of time until our tombstones read, ‘CUSoon.L8R x’

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed