Have you ever gotten into a text message fight? You furiously type into your phone, thumbs punctuating each letter as your third eye wrinkles with rage. Then you have to wait for whomever you are fighting with to reply with their text venom. You may not want to lose the momentum of your anger, but it is boring just staring at your phone. So you sigh, pick at your teeth, change your status update to “drinking tea in the afternoon,” go to the bathroom, then hear the text notification and continue your verbal attack.
Or what about text message lying? You may have asked someone to hang out, and as you are waiting you get a text saying ‘I can’t make it… got the flu.’ It is not like you can see them, or hear if they sound unwell, but you KNOW they are lying. If they were really sick they would have called to prove their sickness with their strained sick sounding voice. The broken… “he (cough cough) ll (wheeze wheeze) o” like a decent person. So you either ignore the text, or text lie back that you hope they feel better even though you don’t.
And what about the ignore text? Sometimes someone texts you, you read it, but don’t respond. You just let it simmer. Or not respond at all. People will do that to you too and you will think to yourself “I know they read my text. Everyone gets their texts… this is so annoying.” But you still do it to other people. Why do we do that? Are we playing a power game? Are we subconsciously telling that person “yeah I could tell you ‘what’s up’ or I could continue watching YouTube videos while you think I am super busy.”
Then there are the text conversations. You go back and forth with someone for maybe 20-30 texts, but don’t call. It is not that you are multi-tasking, or in front of other people. You just don’t feel like talking, even if you do feel like communicating.
It makes me think of the energy behind out actions and how viscerally they can be experienced even without direct person to person communication. There is the lying energy, the passive aggressive energy, ummmmm… the aggressive aggressive energy. There is something behind emotions that is so intangible, that it circumvents technology and we can feel it through our phones. So even though text messaging has changed the format of how we connect, it hasn’t changed our ability to affect one another on an emotional level. Just think of all the sexting!