Sunday, September 18, 2011

Checkmate

I broke down and finally upgraded my basic LG phone. I kept getting notices that it was time for an upgrade from my carrier, Verizon. I knew I didn't want an IPhone, Blackberry or any other device that would connect me any more than I am already connected. Can't I just make calls and send an occasional text message? I don't need to be alerted when there is a new Facebook post or I've received an email. If anything is that important or anyone really needs to get a hold of me, they can call. Yes, I know, I'm apparently living in the land of the lost, I am almost as extinct as the dinosaur or the Atari game system.


But the pressure is on, I have to get with it, get current. Everyone is texting me. And they are sick of my excuse, "I'm not good at texting, I don't have a keyboard." So I gave in. I got a phone that has a keyboard. It was getting much too difficult with the old phone. This texting is a new phenomenon for me. I have avoided it like a fly should avoid a sticky yellow fly strip. Resistance has always been my modus operandi - my consistent black. And I have been wearing the black arm band of resistance for so long that it has actually faded into more of a shade of dark gray, a slate color. It is hard not to resist change, but Father Change will only let you get by with that kind of attitude for so long and then he forces himself on you. With the strength of a hurricane, now you will see who is boss. And you can bet it isn't you. Change has a way of demanding you show your hand.


Now that I have begun the art of text messaging, I see it is like a good chess game. There is a lot of strategy involved. You don't need to respond or react quickly. In fact, it makes better sense, to stall, rub your chin, squint your eyes and plan your next move with great thought and intelligence. Text messaging, especially when it comes to dealing with relationships, or maybe I should say, troubled or new relationships, seems to be a game, a competition. Carefully analysing the next move. You finely craft your well thought out text and hit the send button, hoping you are conveying the message to the receiver that you actually want to convey.

Then there is the wait. Waiting for the reply. It could come in seconds, maybe hours, the next day or never. But it is a waiting game. You stare at the phone, waiting for the incoming text. And when you hear your sound (mine is like a door bell), you feel a sense of excitement, like years gone by, before caller ID and the phone rang. You were filled with great anticipation as you never knew who was on the other end. Bill collector or boyfriend, oh the suspense!

I hate to admit it, but I am loving my new keyboard. I can actually text real messages, not just a simple TTYL or yes/no response - it is already getting a bit addicting. I had to upgrade my text messaging plan so that I would not go over my measly little 250 message limit this month. Earlier in the week I went to the carwash and while I was seated outside in the waiting area I looked around to see 5 of the 7 people who were also waiting completely involved with their phones. Texting, gaming, checking emails, surfing the web, I'm not sure. My phone was in my hand but I slid it in the side pocket of my purse, not wanting to be one of the masses. The only two people not on their phones were two elderly women. Who, unbelievably, were engrossed in a conversation with each other! A lost art, something sweet and sadly, almost nostalgic about it.

But I've taken the plunge, I am now a texter, and there is no turning back. Another chapter has closed, become history, and who knows what will be next. I think I will try to quit bashing it, especially since I still have bad drivers, Starbucks, and many other subjects to keep me busy. I guess whether we are talking, texting, blogging, tweeting, writing, smiling, smirking, sticking out our tongues, crossing our arms or crossing our legs, that is a good thing. We are communicating, we are sending a message. I just hope that nine times out of ten, I am sending the right one.

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