Random Acts of Ismael:

OMG!  I’m AFU’d!!

            Hello out there in the worldwide web!  It is I, your favorite ranter and raver, back with a vengeance, with another hate-filled spew about nothing at all, just for your amusement.  This time around, I’ve decided to tackle a cultural pop phenomenon and dissect it into a fine cross section and view it under the high-powered microscope of my razor sharp mind to discover all its hidden prosperities.  Or, I’ll just tell you what I think about it from my limited knowledge of the subject and make up the rest as I go along as I’ve always done.  I am talking—or typing—of course, about ‘Text Messaging.’

            Now, those of you who know me may be surprised to know that I’m actually a newbie to the world of texting.  It was only a couple of years ago that I was adamantly against owning a cell phone of my own.  Not only did I think it was a pointless waste of money that I would never use, I thought it a luxury that I could do without.  My wife had had a cell phone by this point for a while and had been trying to get me to get my own.  She talked up and down the wall about how much more convenient and practical it was, but I wasn’t buying it.  It wasn’t until we both started going back to school that I decided to give in and get the extra cell phone, if only so that we could keep in touch in between classes and inform the other of where we would be in case our classes got cancelled and so forth.  And so began my descent into the horribly, horrible wonderful world of texting. 

            It began simply enough, with a text message here and there to my wife to let her know where I would be sitting in the school so that she could find me easily enough.  And believe me, typing even short sentences like “I’m on the third floor,” took an embarrassingly long amount of time (almost as embarrassing as actually typing out full sentences in text messages instead of shortening everything like a normal, 21st century mammal would when corresponding digitally).  It wasn’t long, however, before I was texting everybody I knew with a cell phone.  It just became easier to do than talking, especially when you only had one question to ask or wanted to make a comment about something that happened during my day.  It was just common sense and practicality—or so I told myself.  No one wants to be dragged into a lengthy phone conversation to justify the effort expended to pick up the a cell phone, flip it open and press the little phone-shaped icon button, especially if the person that called you only wanted to say that he thought the previous night’s episode of Flavor of Love was hilarious.  Following proper phone etiquette, both parties would feel obligated to remain on the phone for at least five to ten minutes or risk being meant to feel rude for ‘rushing’ the other party off of the phone.  Following text message etiquette, however, a simple statement like that could either be ignored—taken as a random bit of information that was altruistically passed along— or acknowledged with a polite—but short—LOL (laugh out loud) reply—that lets the other party know that the message had been received and that you did indeed find the show funny but are not interested in engaging the other party further than that.  Or, if one should choose to do so, you can enter into a text message conversation in which both parties send messages about the desired topic until one or both grow weary and end it.  Of course there’s always the option of calling the person back to have this conversation verbally, but most likely if the texting party wanted to talk about said topic, he/she would have pressed the little phone-shared icon button instead of going into the message menu and writing the text in the first place.

            In the end, however, that’s the true beauty of text messaging—the choices.  That and the implied distance between the two parties, a distances that says, “I can stop talking to you at any time and you can’t get mad at me because if I had the time or the opportunity to talk I would be talking to you instead of typing away at a misshapen keyboard with the world’s smallest keys ever invented.  I mean, honestly, the proportionate size of the average person’s fingers to the size of some of these keys are mind-blowingly skewed!  It’s like they’re trying to driving me crazy, you sadistic son-of-a-bitch, and you think I’d rather be doing this experiment in torturous thumb callisthenic than simply calling you—which is infinitely easier.  No!  I’m texting you because I DON’T want to talk to you!  Can’t you get that through your thick head or do I have to text it to you?  So don’t call me back when I’ve just sent you a text, because the very fact that I’ve sent you a text excludes the remotest possibility that I have any desire whatsoever to hear your f’ing voice!"

            Of course texting can also be a way of keeping contact with people when you’re in a situation in which you’re unable to talk, like at work or school or church.  It’s a way of keeping your friends in the loop of your life while telling the rest of the world to leave you the hell alone, you’ve got better things to do than sit there and pay attention to anything but the little piece of plastic and wires in the palm of your hand—err, the cell phone shaped plastic and wires thing in the palm of your hand, not the…private…plastic and wires thing some people place in the palm of their hands—LOL. 

            Anyways, the end result, is that I’ve become a text messaging whore.  I will text anyone at any time for any thing, whether I’m able to talk to them or not.  I’ve sent mass text messages to people I hardly know just for the sake of feeling that little piece of plastic and wires vibrate in my pocket—Shut up you perverts!.  It doesn’t even matter what they respond, so long as they respond.  I’ll send ten text messages at a time telling practical strangers how I misread an innocent advertisement for a yoga class, believing it to be offering “Free Open Asses,” instead of “Free Open Classes.”  And I’ll do for the sake of a little recognition and a digital screen with semi-colon and a close parenthesis on it. 

            So there’s my story.  I went from unwilling cell phone owner to full-blown text message slut all in two years time.  Now I can not live without texting someone—ANYONE—and I need to do it all the time.  In fact, as I write this rant, I’m hoping that someone will text me and satisfy the urge that is my new obsession.  Take from this rant what you will.  Take is as a warning or a laugh, but one day the allure of texting will get you too, if it has not already, and you’ll be in a back alley somewhere, offering up things you never thought you would just so that someone will write you a simple message on your cell phone.  IT’LL HAPPEN TO YOU TOO!  I PROMISE!  I WON’T BE THE ONLY ONE!!  LOL.     


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