Monday, 15 October 2012

The rise of the frivolous Communication

In today's society with the proliferation of the mobile phone the purpose and limits of communications is being blurred.

There was a time when to communicate a message to someone quickly one had to send a telegram, or even a runner, and this was expensive stuff.  Words and meaning were eked out onto the missive and transmitted.

The postal service also played a part in the blossoming of beautiful and well thought out letters between people.  And due to the long turn around time the communicated messages were sweet and thoughtful, full of information and the spice of life.

With the birth of e-mail came a way to transmit near instantly such missives, but it slowly devolved and l33t speak became the de facto standard, along trotted SMS and the problem magnified terribly... "R U OK", the bane of any SMS, but it still has meaning.

However, with the rise of the smart phone, the multi-part SMS and contracts allowing for near unlimited, costless, communication the art of communicating is dying.  And I have an example for the day...

I have a mobile, its a very old, battered, Nokia.  I keep it because a) I hate smart phones b) I used to be the text king, sending near letter long texts and incurring HUGE phone bills and c) I only want to be disturbed at work if its important.

My importance thresholds are simple:

1. Is someone stuck/broke down?
2. Is someone Ill?
3. Is someone dead?
4. Has someone been born?

If it does not fall into these categories the rule is wait until out of office hours, or just mention it in passing...

And I established and popularised these levels with all my friends and family... They all pretty much apply them when contacting me at work.  Except for my Mother.

Now, I should explain, Mothers do get some special dispensation to contact you, but mine is taking the piss now... I'm getting messages about Eggs... and bread.... messages about the weather... and all sorts of trivial frivolous shit... Which to be frank shouldn't be a text or a mobile message... They don't warrant being delivered to me whilst I'm on the bog, let alone whilst I'm at work... They're in fact messages which would struggle to pass as small talk when face to face.

They are in short of such low magnitude of interest, I've just asked her to stop texting me at work... "Stop texting me, I'm at work".

That was the whole text reply I sent... It's short, and to the massed whom work (my parents being retired) it would make sense... But not to my Mother, oh no, she lives in this little world where everything she is doing is very very important... "We're going shopping"... "I must blog about this" sort of shit... And its pointless... Its everyday crap... I dread to think what she'd put on twitter if she ever worked it out.

But, after asking "Stop texting me, I'm at work"... you know what I get?....

"Reel your neck in, I text you because its important"....

Erm... First of all, its not important... second of all... I've asked you to stop texting and you just text'd back...

My reply was the rather generous "Get fucked, I'm at work".... emphasising my position... Did the hint get through?... Nope... Nope, I just got a seven page text... And cus she's angry, its all garbled... here's the exact text verbatim:

"Thats nr eally nice repl 2ur mum...ithink note. it'd far b appalling 2 any1 n uncalled for. but 2me is a lve 2 far"... and it goes on and on...

You can make out what's being said, but its so shite as to beggars belief... if she realised the point, that time needs to be taken, this is not urgent, eggs is not worthy of interrupting me at work, when we were kids (without mobiles) if she'd have called my Dad at work and said "pick up eggs" he'd have gone nuts, just as I'm not happy I'm being asked to sort out eggs for her... But this is all forgotten, as far as she cares the world goes into a little box and waits for her when she's not looking.

And this communication is rubbish... I'm tired of texting her, tired of texting anything but the bare essentials to people, I write letters or e-mails and I check them, and re-read them before sending them.  My previous post was decrying my hate of twitter, I blog here to pretty much get things off my chest, and that works for me... but if I had a pen pal I'd write them a nice letter...

I may call my mother out on this, I might send her a letter (large print) and make it clear that these stupid text's she sends need to be e-mails or letters, or waited on until she see's me and can talk to me... They are not worthy of the interruption they cause.

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