There are innumerable ways to communicate. Most people update a handful of social networks each day with blurbs, photos and commentary. From conference tables to the masses, marketers have crammed the idea down our throats that we must always be connected to everyone at every second of the day. And we have all bought into the concept and propelled it forward to a point where there is no way to disconnect without a fear that we will evaporate.
There is one communication method that has fallen upon dark times and is only utilized by the youngest and oldest, completely overlooked by the middle: The Phone Call. With smart phones all social networks provide applications that connect with a user’s fingertips. Text messages capture words and catapult them between cellular towers without forcing the individual to miss a beat, but perhaps a few steps as eyes are always down and never looking beyond the plastic at hand.
This explanation is not a gripe on our connectivity, but a clear picture of how someone is likely to communicate today. Phone calls in my mind are only acceptable when on the clock and a person is being paid to communicate in this archaic manner. Between headsets and phones so small you can’t hold them with a shoulder, there’s no physically comfortable way to have a phone conversation and generally they are unnecessarily drawn out versions of what could be said in ten words or less by text.
Over the past two weeks I’ve had a couple of dates with West. Classic nice guy, tells you he likes you, you’re pretty, the usual. All of which rolls off my back as people usually don’t mean these things, at least my cynicism can’t accept that anyone would. When he called last night I didn’t pick up the phone. A text message conversation ensued and ended with West sharing that he was “disappointed” and surprised by my “immaturity.”
In a rare twist, I didn’t respond and allowed him to have the last word. I was surprised at the sudden anger over avoiding a call. Yes, I was technically home and could have answered. But my goal was to finish writing a chapter not become entangled in a conversation. Possibly an immature move on my part, that opinion I can’t change, but from my perspective the call should have never happened. At the end of our first date I stated, ” Always text, I never answer the phone.” This may have been taken in jest but I was entirely serious.
But it was the end of West’s lengthy message that makes me think this isn’t entirely about me not answering a call and more about me not putting out. I’m no virgin, but there’s no reason that anyone must sleep with someone on the first, second or third date. True, by gay standards I can sleep with you before any date or without one ever taking place. But if you really are the nice guy, and if you really want the relationship [these are assessments on West] then why would you want to jump into the sack? Yes, test drive the car before you commit, but take a moment to find out what you’ll be test driving first.
West will go down in the books as another guy to come and go, but as for me, I’m happy to report that’s not a statement he can apply here.
Michelle Branch gets it: