It is incredible how cavalierly these companies put sensitive information into people’s hands without even a word of warning.
I definitely prefer talking to text messaging unless I’m in a setting where its impossible to have a phone conversation.
While text messages are great, they go only so far. They can’t tell me if I’ve made the person I’m communicating with upset, uncomfortable, insulted or angry.
When we speak face to face, we pick up visual cues and listen for audible cues to assess how the conversation is going. Text messaging removes those cues and places the burden on abbreviated words to convey a range of emotions and intentions.
Unless my message is obviously funny, is a smiley face or LOL telling the recipient to laugh or that I’m laughing. (Although every time I see LMAO, I can’t help laughing out loud at the image it conjures up.)
And those abbreviations don’t work on my non-English speaking friends.
Sometimes, like today, after looking at the 20-odd messages that passed between a friend and I, I wondered, wouldn’t it have been better to just pick up the phone and talk?
That’s the other thing text messaging eliminates – the sound of peoples’ voices.
Frankly, all this technology keeps us separated in our own little worlds. I wouldn’t mind a little more face time with my friends.
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A few weeks ago, I was speaking with my 80 year old aunt who, except for a spell in Canada, has lived in the U.K. since 1954 – way before I was born.
I’m not sure how the conversation veered towards her trip from Kingston, Jamaica to London but for the first time I heard that she and 16 others had traveled on the Reina del Pacifico, the ocean liner aboard which a former British Prime Minister, James MacDonald, had died and King Peter of Yugoslavia had sailed.
But that’s not what caught my attention. According to Aunt Connie, her voyage had lasted three weeks. Three weeks?!
Could I survive being unplugged for that long? I doubt it seriously.
When did I get so connected? Every so often, I leave my phone at home intentionally or turn off the television.
But I’m getting ready to go on vacation and remaining connected is my biggest concern. Always has been.
Living in the U.S., I’ve become so used to being always ‘on’ that I take for granted the limitations of technology elsewhere.
On my last trip, my laptop traveled with me as it always does. However, in two and a half weeks, I got online for only a few minutes. When I did, it was like winning the lottery – miraculous and unexpected. My first few days had been tortuous. Like quitting smoking cold turkey, I felt ‘whole’ again once I got online.
So how will I be able to postaday when I’m on vacation?
I plan to have a few posts queued up and ready to go but I love to share my experiences shortly after they happen – not when I get back. So I’ve spent the last day trolling the Internet to make sure there’ll be free WiFi hotspots near my hotel (T-Mobile tells me I can turn off the data service and connect using WiFi but I’d rather have my phone off completely) that I’ll be able to find a convenient location to buy a SIM card when I arrive (I have an unlocked phone that I use whenever I travel) and that my adapters will work (They didn’t in South Africa). I’ll buy a few minutes on Skype so I can call home in case there’s an emergency or use GoogleChat.
I’m confident these steps will keep me connected so that I can keep my commitment to postaday while I’m away. I’ll know for sure once I arrive.
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