From Letters >>> 2 Text Messages
An Ode To Modern Communication
If I responded to all my text messages and emails— I literally wouldn’t do anything else. Emails sent at 11:59 pm used to be considered unprofessional; now it signals dedication. I don’t know if this was a thing many moons ago, back when people sent handwritten letters— but I do know that in the 21st century my inbox keeps me up at night.
The man on my Waking Up meditation app told me that I shouldn’t constantly respond to texts and emails. His ominous, sexy British voice said: “All responding quickly will do is create more things to respond to. You will develop a reputation of being responsive and people won’t stop sending you messages.” This makes a lot of sense yet… it is absolute nonsense. I don’t know what life is like for this mythical British man, shit I don’t even know if he’s alive at all. I don’t know whether he’s in a far-off, heavenly recording studio or if he’s an automated voice designed to soothe anxious minds. But I do know one thing: he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I cannot be a functioning member of society without frequently responding to texts and emails. Ugh.
The average person receives over 100 emails per day. Each day, the average professional clocks out after sending an average of 40 emails. Nowadays– students have it pretty bad. Checking your email on a daily basis is listed as a course requirement on each of my class syllabuses. PsychCentral reports that on average, students spend about 45 minutes checking their email. This is 45 minutes too many if you ask me.
For three days now, I’ve been texting back and forth with my dentist’s office trying to book an appointment. I chipped my tooth by biting too hard on a fork— I guess I was a bit too hungry. Anyways, I usually respond to the secretary’s text message two hours after they send me an available time. The office then messages me back saying that the appointment has been taken. After a few days of this, I’ve resorted to waiting until my next cleaning. Which I still haven’t booked yet—but that’s a messaging battle for another day. For the time being, I am content with letting my phone blow up in the corner instead of constantly fighting this ongoing battle against my notifications. My thumbs are sore from slaying these virtual demons at such a fast pace; my flesh is falling off my fingers at this point. So what if I lose some more of the tooth? I suppose it would simply be a casualty of the battle of modern communication.
When it comes down to it– I just can’t keep up with everything. It’s completely unreasonable to expect yourself or others to keep up with the insane influx of messages that we all receive on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s ok to wait until your next cleaning to fix your chipped tooth, to wait until that next appointment that has yet to be booked. I know one thing for certain. I know that my fallen soldiers– the unanswered messages, the unheard voicemails (ESPECIALLY), and the unseen Instagram DMs– have compiled into a graveyard. This graveyard encompasses much of the virtual space I participate in. So much so, that I feel moved to author an Ode to Modern Communication:
Please have mercy on meeeeeee
I’m sorry that I (sometimes… usually…close to always) suck at replyinggggg
Everytime I pick up my phone, I have at least twelve messagessssssssssss
Oh— please have mercy on my spammed soulllll
Text me againnnn
Just blow me upppppp