Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Generation Text

I saw a thing, one of those things that people put up, on Facebook the other day. It said things along the lines of:

"I'm from the generation that arrives at your house to pick you up and gets out of my car, walks up the path and rings your doorbell. You're from the generation that arrives, then sits in the car and texts or calls to say they've arrived."

Now I don't know where you fall, but I know I'm in the first lot. And frankly I'm happy about it too.

Let's be honest; this whole texting and mobile device communication phenomenon is fantastic. It's life changing, often life saving. It's changed relationships for the better, enabled long distance to be, well, not so long distance (something I know only too well). We can be in regular touch with people who our parents would never have been able to be in touch with, you know what I mean. We can genuinely find that the advantages make our lives easier.

Yet there are a generation of people who seem to take it to a level that, to me at least, is too high.

I went to pick K up from a friend's some months ago. I found the address, parked my car in a space (something you Sri Lankans might not understand!) and got out, walked to the door and rang the doorbell.

The father of K's friend answered the door. I said hello and introduced myself. He did the same, though introducing himself, not me. We had a chuckle about life, moaned about our respective daughters, then K arrived in the front hall and off we went, all smiles and laughter.

No sooner had we got in the car when K said

"Dad, what were you doing?"

I was puzzled, even more so than normal.

"What do you mean?" I replied.

"Well what were you doing ringing the bell and walking to the door? Why didn't you just text to say you were outside?" she asked.

I have to confess that the concept of pulling up outside and typing in all those characters, pressing send, then wondering if the message had gone, then waiting for a reply.....blah blah...hadn't even occurred to me.

No, it wasn't that my mental list of options even included that as one that I could possibly pick . All I had in my head was two options; ring the bell exactly as I had done or wait in the car for K to come out at the appointed time.

Because that's how I am.

And increasingly I witness people having long, protracted drawn out conversations by text when a simple phone call would be easier on every count. I see chap A text chap B asking if he wants to meet for a drink. Chap A gets no response from Chap B, then doesn't know if he's going out for a drink that night or not, so can't make other plans.

Chap A then texts Chap B again, maybe multiple times. Chap B may or may not respond but the pattern continues. It's one of questions and replies, of inconvenience when a simple phone call would be just oh so much easier for everyone.

It happened the other day. I won't name any names but we'll call her Chap C. She was trying to arrange to meet with someone, had sent several texts and go no response, so didn't know whether it was going ahead or not. Eventually I her partner suggested she call the person. It was as if I her partner had suggested the most radical and inventive idea since the thing that makes sliced bread.

What is it with these youngsters eh?

Texting is good. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's also good to talk.

Must dash.


Gypsy said...

I'm probably generation text. Although I sometimes wish I wasn't. Waiting for what whopper by the way.

No One Knows said...

To sweet sixteenK,
I wish you all the faith, courage and luck to succeed in all walks life. May you have a wonderful year filled with joy and glory.Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.
good luck for your GCSE.
take care

Janith Leanage said...

Happy Birthday, K! :D

And hmm, I do prefer texts to phone calls, but that's just because I'm a socially awkward penguin. :D

Jack Point said...

Your way sounds a lot nicer, more personal. I confess that I'm a bit lazy so it tends to be text/call from the car.

This is faster too.

However stopping outside and horning is pretty bad.

Aleeza said...

I can relate...my sister keeps texting her friends a million times just to ask about classes and outings when a simple quick phone call would do the job. Annoying!
As for you ringing the doorbell rather than texting, I think that was quite nice of u! My Dad would have given me a ring from inside the car, out of sheer laziness.
BTW great blog!