My pink princess sits on my desk, lonely, probably thinking it’s unloved — its buttons not pushed for some time, its receiver not cradled and held. Voices in the vastness don’t come through its speaker. Voices in the vastness — there’s something about the way a person’s voice sounds through a real phone that just isn’t duplicated with texting, or talking on mobiles that often sound like the other person’s at the bottom of a well. It’s like when you hear a song you love on the radio. It sounds different, doesn’t it? I can’t explain why (science!).
Most people prefer texting (and if you’re one of them and you’ve told me (several times) and you’re reading this, you don’t have to comment or send me an email explaining this again — I get it). But I don’t text. Yes, you read that right. I used to, until I got caught in a teen texting 7th circle of hell. Those crazy kids texted the wrong number and no matter how much I tried to convince them I wasn’t Jim, they didn’t believe me. (Is this the big joke for kids today? Prank text people and say you’re not who you really are via emojis and abbreviated “words”?) After that, I had the phone company block texting for a bit. Being sans texts was so enjoyable that I realized I preferred that, so I blocked texting for good.
Texting’s great for short bits, like “Where are you? I’m here,” especially with my mom, for whom answering that simple question would still be a 15-minute phone call (minimum). But with texting, I find there’s no “hello.” And my biggest pet peeve: how do you know when you’re done? Ping, ping, ping…. … crickets. Where did you go? I hate IMing for the same reason. Back in the day, people used to say “brb” (be right back) and “ttyl” (talk to you later). More recently, people IM, we chat, a moment of silence arrives… … then they’re just gone. Signed out. Offline. With nary a goodbye.
I’m not a Luddite. I love technology. It’s how we can spend this particular time together. But does loving tech mean I have to toss out the princess phone and the sound of your voice? Why can’t I have it all?
There’s something about hearing the way a person says certain words or the way their voice changes when they talk about this or that. Even with the best emoji (and I’m using that phrase with VATS of salt), you can’t get across what comes out naturally through phrasing and inflection. Inflection! God, how I miss inflection! And ever since the beginning, I’ve prefered an actual belly laugh to (the often faked) LOL. As someone who enjoys making people laugh, typed letters just don’t cut it. SRSLY.
Plus, “I love your voice” sounds a lot better than [Tweet “”I love your emojis. You’re so texty.””]
Talking on the phone, writing and sending handwritten notes and cards, paper invitations — I know I’m rare (and weird), but I like those things and I always will. And I’ll never understand why with many people, it has to be one or the other.
The secret is just to find others who think like me (needle in a haystack!) so Princess can have fun again and not become a relic of a time gone by. She still has a purpose. And she’s pretty. And she brings me closer than any shapes on a screen can to those I really want to hear from.
“I love your voice…” right in my ear, as if sitting right next to me. *sigh* Even if Siri said those texted words, it’s just not the same…