Email is not the new black anymore. Probably hasn’t been for years. Everyone hates it now, although I still love email despite being called names like “old lady who still emails.” I can’t fall out of love with it.
One friend of mine “never checks her email” and wants me to communicate via WhatsApp, which required me to install an app I never use otherwise. Kind of like having to keep a car only she likes to drive in when she visits. Fortunately, WhatsApp doesn’t need insurance coverage.
Another friend replies to emails via text. Other friends and acquaintances like to use Facebook’s Messenger. Another friend, who we’ll refer to as that “Italian New Yorker in Florida who calls me names like ‘old lady’,” replies to emails with email, but quite clearly prefers texting. Other people send me messages on Quora, which is acceptable. I frequently check in there.
One acquaintance told me she feels about email the way I feel about texting, which is to say texting brings about feelings of aggressive hate and ennui in her breast.
Ennui is not that aggressive unless you count a stubborn desire to never have to write anything again on a keypad made for a newborn’s fingers.
These various ways of communicating are alright, I s’pose, but one day I had five different venues to check for messages. That’s not even including messages I might have received on YouTube or some other place I’ve left comments.
How could something as close to a real letter as any of us will ever receive again, bring about feelings of hate and ennui?
When this person who really truly hates email texted me, the phone dinged next to my ear at least thirty times in thirty seconds. Is this what the texters find attractive about it? It’s obnoxiousness? To be fair, she’s the only one I know who does this, most likely because she uses voice software to send messages.
If you are going to message people this way, why not just call them? If you’ve ever heard one of these sorts of texters carry on a conversation, it’s machine gun style. They have a lot to say and a short time to say it, to paraphrase a country song featured in Smoky and the Bandit. He had a “long way to go and a short time to get there,” and therefore had to break all the speed limits between Atlanta and Texarkana.
Texarkana might not even exist. I really don’t feel like looking it up. Googling it would work, I guess. (It’s a city in the region of three states: Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana.)
Those conversations are never worth eavesdropping on. People who prefer texting over email or phone calls never have anything to say they wouldn’t want their parents or the cops to know about. I know, because I regularly eavesdrop on random conversations. They are always boring and never describe the conversationalist’s latest caper knocking over a bank.
If someone sent my namecalling friend an actual letter and he went to the mailbox to get it, after combing away years of cobwebs and dust from the lid, would he text the sender telling them they’re an “old lady who still writes letters?” Even if there was a check in it?
Probably. He really is a brat. I’d stop payment on the check if I was his grandma.
Texting, like Twitter, or as I like to call it, Twatter, is reducing the written word to smaller and smaller bites. If you read the article link I provided above with the word “letter,” you will see how I feel about there not being anything written to save for future generations.
There will be a total of three letters and two journals left in the world for biographers to study and snoop in 100 years from now. The biographers will have a bag full of memory chips they will have to plug into their phone in order to read the unique thoughts their subject wrote down so that they can write a book about this person.
How romantic is a bag of memory chips? I yearn for a phone store instead of a dim garret just thinking about it.
I am not a very succinct person. If I am going to write a message to someone, it will contain more than a few terse words. It will describe something noteworthy, like what I did yesterday, which wasn’t much, or the words to a song that’s stuck in my head, or something funny that happened on the street.
Emails serve that purpose admirably. I’m not telling anyone they have to answer me immediately. That’s the beauty of email. It comes as close to a letter as they’re going to get from me. I can’t remember the last time I needed a stamp. Never was there a time I sent a letter and expected a response from the recipient within seconds.
Next someone will tell me that blogging is so yesterday and I should describe my outrage in 140 character twats. I mean, twits. Try writing a book about my life from 140 character messages I sent to a bunch of twits.
Email is still my go to way to say, “Hi. How ya doing?” That came in under 20 characters. Man, I’m good.
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Originally published at chezgigi.com on February 2, 2019.