Do you text?
Not the smartest thing to do while driving on blind corners at sunrise, sunset. The many twisting, dipping and vehicle thrown side to side Maine country roadways. Where wildlife crossings at any minute add to the adventure. But the most basic communication with much missing in the talk to me experience. Strained out, filtered, just the nature of the hunt and peck with both thumbs.
I have a slide out keyboard on a Droid phone.
Otherwise, it would be using a steel pen to make the point. Or the need to modify both thumbs on a touch screen. Making them pencil sharpened cylinder machined.
Tapered to a something smaller, a whittled point. To fit, work the A to Z, other keys. For instant, no matter where you are if there is a wireless signal to ride. For the hand held, parked in your pocket communication. LOL, TTL, LMAO. Two way, your turn to say it, post it quick. Like telegrams of old of “Send Money. STOP. Need It Quickly. OVER. Send, Wire Lots. Thnx. TRANSMISSION COMPLETE.
Texting. In the same category as Morse code light flashes off the bow of a ship on the horizon.
Or smoke signals on a calm day where the communication does not get word jumbled. Out of order to only cause greater confusion in the conversation on a background of blue writing “paper”.
But texting, unlike sky writing with a long stretch of canvas trailing behind a plane, is two way. Maybe like the early black and white version of ping pong on the Commodore 64 or 128. The Atari console. But what does not get loaded into the text communication is the rest of the communication elements missing.
Not like when sitting face to face on a Maine open porch on a summer evening with the smell of fresh flowers in the window boxes. Fresh coffee and just hopped out of the oven, on to a small plate sticky cinnamon buns.
Not as full, robust and using all the senses. Not like a restricted pull it tighter, straining to hear. With the other end of the tin can and string conversation.
The pause as the answer to a question is searched for, one raised eyebrow reaction or slight smirk is witnessed.
Or the tone of the response. Are we both whispering, library study setting concerned about interrupting the concentration of others deep in thought?
The copy, dialogue colored with apathy, excitement, worry or distraction? Because something else is going on in the background obvious that with texting is not always known. Where are you while texting can help explain the delay, constraints if only the other side of the walkie talkie back and forth knew the “you are here”. It would help explain the “where did that answer come from’ or those texts that make you go “HHMmmmmmm”.
In college one speech course was SC 45, interpersonal communication.
Where the body language of a person all added to the what is being felt, not formed into words but the signal still broadcasting.
On a sub channel carrier frequency if you knew the cues. The arms crossed, keep your distance stance. The ears back, teeth showing and someone is going to get kicked without words formulated, rolling off the tongue.
The color of your tie, car, other accessories making a statement, supporting the look of cool, calm, collected, confidence. But your breathing is labored, sweat is forming on your brow. You look away a lot. Which says something different is happening inside. Without hooking up the polygraph stylus for the sweeps to know for sure if you are walking the talk. Being totally honest. Instead of playing games, working with spin, smoke, mirrors.
The cat tail back and forth annoyance, the look of silent seething.
All missing when it is only the See Dick, See Jane, Puff, Spot simplicity of a text. One same size font, maybe a smiley face with expression salt and peppered here and there.
Texting to say hey, what’s shaking, where you be bro? What’s your 10-20 good buddy. Where quantity is restricted from the big hands, little device and business doing something else. Multi tasking while the ongoing chit chat pings and pongs.
Like tennis, waiting for a serve from your last tap tap send. Maybe with an image attached or video clip that really adds to the conversation. To bring it out of the dark.
The meeting set up in a room where the placement of chairs can help or hinder the communication. Straight line or horseshoe intimate. To draw in the participants. Put them on the same level or keep them at arms length, or greater distance for a reason.
Making it two way, or just sit there and absorb like a sponge.
And try to stay awake because the guy or gal up front reading to you, not so animated has a cattle prod in the end of the chalk board pointer or red pen lazer dancing on the pull down powerpoint screen.
Texting, ever thought the other end of the signal took the wrong spur, went into a dead end siding like a lost rail car?
Because not enough to go on. With just three words here and there. Or clever abbreviations is all the other side of the conversation has to draw conclusions, get up to speed. Or jump to the all wrong conclusion. Maybe long delays and what were we talking about again? Reading too much into the gap, space but not figuring in the guy or gal lost the four bars, MIA, battery went red dead.
Texting, it makes for the constant ability to let others around you know you are here to reach out and locate easily. To pose a quick question. Remind “I love, miss you”. Or “good luck on the medical test, with the final exam, your long distance travel journey”. But nothing War and Peace long winded going to happen for all the color, nuances, extra seasoning of the face to face. The 3 feet or less, cheek to cheek apart communication. With or without the lights on.