The Decline of the Text Message and the Burden on Planning

Welcome back ya’ll, I’m sure you missed us more than we missed our collective crabs.  Have to set the bar low folks. Hopefully everyone had a nice Christmas, New Years, or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate but now it’s time to get back to business.

So where do we go from here? No idea, but if you ask me I’d tell you no idea.  Unfortunately I didn’t spend any time abroad receiving salutations from world leaders or even start a new relationship with anything but fortunately for you I have another topic to gripe about.  Rejoice!

Hmm lets see (pulls out immensely long list) ah here we go.

Lets talk about texting, shall we?

If you’re reading this then you know what a text message is and probably send several to millions throughout your average day.  In fact, six billion SMS (short message service) messages are sent in the United States every day, which ends up being about 2.2 trillion messages annually.  In case you don’t realize just how many messages that is I think we can all agree on the accepted vernacular of “a fuck-ton.”

Sure, a lot of messages are sent by Americans every day but given my limited but valid experience, I think the text message is on the decline in some respects, mainly when it comes to planning shit to do for you and your friends.

I’ll start with a common scenario that maybe you can relate to:

It’s Friday night around whatever time you start to think about what you’re going to do that night, given that you don’t already have a prior engagement.  For arguments sake lets say around 6 pm.

You have your regular group of friends that you almost always do something with so you send a message to them to try to see what everyone’s deal is for the evening.  At this point you best pray you already have an idea in mind, because Jesus knows that nobody really knows what the fuck they want to do and the right answer is usually whatever is thrown out there first.

In this instance you already have an idea, maybe it’s a fucking bomb-diggity one, so that’s what you throw out there.  A little time goes by and maybe you hear back from two or three of your best compadres but notice that your suggestion has gone mostly unanswered.  At this point you say fuck it, this is a great idea for tonight, let me widen my scope, so you decide to open up the plan to a few more of your friends and text them with the deal.  It gets closer and closer to the time that you wanted to do whatever it is you planned and guess how many of those people got back to you? My money’s on zero, maybe one more if you’re lucky.

Bitter and discouraged at the lack of a response you received you  say “fuck it” again and decide to do your thing with or without all of those people you tried to include.  The only problem is it’s just you, since I never said that the people who answered were down to do whatever it is you texted them about so instead of going out you decide to just rip a few shots on your own and procrastinate jerking off by watching an episode of Chopped that you’ve already seen twice.

Tired and defeated, you pass out on the couch with only your half empty bottle and tissues of dried up splooge to comfort you and your anemic social life.

Any of this sound familiar? Okay that last part may not be how it necessarily goes down but if you ever (or always) try to plan shit out to do then I’m sure that first part of the scenario struck some kind of chord.

So what’s the deal here? Why are your friends so shitty? The easy answer is that everyone is just sooooo busy and I know that that’s at least partially true.  Everyone does have their own shit going on, and I respect that.  What I don’t respect is when someone doesn’t take a second out of their time to just say they can’t (or don’t want to) do whatever it is that was thrown their way.  If someone makes a plan and invites you to said event, no matter how small, it means that for whatever reason they thought it would be a better if you were there than if you weren’t.  It’s always easier to not do than to do, therefore if someone has the courtesy to invite you to something personally (I don’t mean facebook shit, that’s a whole different issue) then by not answering you’re wasting a little bit of their time.  It may not be much in any given instance, but it sure does add up.  This isn’t even including the added weight and stress of trying to put a cohesive plan together, where unknowns and hard maybes are crippling for the poor fuck who decided to undertake planning a social endeavor.

I think that the answer is more complicated than everyone’s collective business.  Maybe people don’t really like me, err you, all that much so they decide to fuck you over by not answering.  It would certainly explain most of this.  I know sometimes people forget to answer or think they already have (I’m super guilty of this actually; there’s many a time when I’m waiting on a response from someone only to discover that I hadn’t actually texted them back in the first place. Oops) and occasionally people like to disconnect and not have their phones on them, all good really.

I think a big part of the problem is that people don’t like to say “no” and equally don’t like to commit to anything for fear of something better coming along. What ends up happening is you get a lot of people who don’t have the balls to decline an invitation to keep the option open for them while waiting for whatever it is they really want to do to come along.  Again, just one explanation but that’s just my .02.

So what are the planners to do? Should we start calling everybody when we have a plan? I feel like all of the unanswered calls might result in a few more suicides, so actually maybe that’s not the best course of action.

I may regret this but I’m legitimately curious what people might think about this, so if you can relate, can’t relate, disagree, agree, whatever, I’d actually like to hear. Well read. In comments.

Mucho Love,

Corey Aaron

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