Text, Therefore I Am
Karen De Coster
by Karen De Coster: We
Should Do What the Government Says Is Good for Us
I must reveal
my newest math: The Idiocracy + Phone Devices = Dysfunctional Texting
First, I want
to express a few thoughts before I explain my equation. As folks
may or may not know, I am no Luddite. I am a technology aficionado.
I really do love portable computing devices, and that includes the
use of text as a method of messaging. I use texting with friends
because it can be a very convenient and useful tool. Most of my
friends - but not all - are intelligent enough to understand the
limitations of the tool. Text, in my world, is used as an instant-o-gram,
a quickie message service, a "hello" tool, or even for
winging fun and unusual sightings and/or comments every now and
then. Itís a great way of staying in touch with the right thoughts
or pictures, and at a time that is convenient for both the sender
Most of my
friends, however, understand that texting does not replace face
time and real conversation. Texting negates eye contact, body language,
and voice expression, which makes it far worse than the cell
phone. Person-to-person contact, of course, is the ideal, even if
it is extremely old-fashioned. A lot can be said about a conversation
by looking at a personís body language and eye contact. Where the
phone loses that capacity, at least it offers the voice connection.
With a phone call there is voice inflection allowing you to gauge
the other personís mood, sincerity, and tone. In comparison, texting
is the wood outhouse of civilization and has become the building
block of the Dysfunctional Idiocracy.
libertarians often get angry with me for criticizing that which
deserves my wrath because they think that no free, independent act
should ever be criticized. They confuse criticism with coercion.
In knee jerk fashion, they mistake my cultural criticism of certain
human actions for government laws that makes said acts illegal and
therefore subject to criminal punishment. I donít want to pass laws
disallowing or punishing human folly; I just want the freedom to
make fun of it all.
of the Dysfunctional Idiocracy have their cell phones stuck in their
face 24/7. It doesnít matter if they are on the elliptical at the
gym, in the middle of dinner, in line at a retail store, in a meeting
at work, or crossing busy, 4-lane road. Ask me how many times I
have almost run over some nitwit crossing the road in front of me,
looking down at his phone, while forgetting he is crossing a 4-lane,
45 mph road. Itís happened too many times to count. Furthermore,
while driving, I always watch people driving around me and I see
them, yes, texting, texting, texting.
Texting Idiocracy is expressed via the extreme use of texting that
goes beyond basic Idiocracy behaviors. One of the most notable of
all Texting Idiocracy behaviors is the notion that many relationships
are now fully carried out via text messaging. Dates are arranged
by text, and they are also broken by text under the assumption that
the other person also has their muzzle buried in their phone and
will therefore get the text timely. The meat of relationships is
carried out by texting Ė long conversations in broken English are
somehow endearing in the land of the Texting Idiocracy.
relationship break-ups also occur by text. That eliminates any need
for honesty, closure, explanation, or courtesy. In fact, my favorite
text act of all time is the "because I didnít return your
text for many days [or weeks?], that means I have broken
up with you" act. Oh yes Ė the act of not texting
back is the grandest break-up of all. If you dare to not
get the hint that the no-text non-message was actually a message
to you that "we are done," then you have just failed Text
Communications 101. You are a boob.
break-up fallout by text is when the text ignorer continues to ignore
the texter in order to express that a break-up has occurred, but
the party being broken up with continues to text in anticipation
that a response will ultimately come forth, thus ending any perception
of a break-up. This can go on for months.
Do I see people
doing this? Yes. And sadly, they are not teenagers. It boggles my
Text, Therefore I Am" generation is not just the young people
who have grown up with electronic devices and social media. Oh no,
no, no Ė letís not blame this one on the young folks. Itís the aging
bar crowd and old fogeys, the Baby Boomers and older Gen Xíers (40
and 50-somethings), who are the worst offenders. You people are
the grand bozos of the Boobus Textus Society. You are the great
offenders, not the kids. In fact, you are teaching your kids that
it is okay to be a committed Boobus Textus. Monkey see, monkey do
is in your court. And your younger monkeys are watching you and
learning from the elder Idiocracy.
And you oldsters
are the folks who should know better because you grew up in households
where telephone calls were not allowed for just any old blab-a-thon;
you actually needed a reason to call a friend on your parentsí dime.
Remember when you had to wait two hours to make a phone call because
your household had a shared party line? Most of the time you went
to your friendís house and knocked on the door. You rode a bike
or walked several blocks to earn a conversation with another human
being who had a face.
term I keep hearing in the adult Text World is "sheís [or heís]
a texter." This is what people say about their friends or significant
other. Apparently, this is what defines people nowadays. A texter
is defined as the understanding that the person in question, the
"texter," carries out all important communications by
text, so the whole world waits on the texter to, well, text. A no-text
is a sign the texter is either dead or an idiot. If the texter is
known to be alive and therefore deemed an idiot, the person expecting
a text sends angry texts to the texter expressing rage over not
receiving the expected text. Ultimately, either text rage or
text silence will commence, and proper meaning must be drawn from
either possible scenario so that all is understood by both parties
to the text-o-rama. Note that text silence can be interpreted in
various ways, by both parties to the silence, so communication chaos
is the Retardocracy around us.
I love it when
private businesses post signs restricting cell phone use, such as
"Don't talk or text on your cell phone while in line." Three
cheers, especially if they enforce their rules. You think you wouldn't
have to tell people that with huge black-and-white signs blaring
at them, but no, you do have to tell them. And tell them again and
again and again. And still, they text.
I despise it
when people are in my presence and they canít stop texting. And
I am not talking about urgent work or family stuff Ė itís the ludicrous,
irrelevant hacking away at oneís phone just because their brain
is wired to execute meaningless exploits at all times of the day.
Itís rude and I have no patience for it.
My least favorite
act is when others try to carry out important Ė and long! Ė conversations
via texting. They actually expect me to write a 500-word essay back
to them via the slow act of typing away on a virtual keyboard with
my index finger. I donít think so. I ignore the texts or I say,
"call me." But experience shows that eventually, not only
do texters cease to have a face, but they also become non-callers.
As they devolve from face to phone to text, they lose touch with
real people and real relationships. They no longer have the ability
to interact directly with flesh and bones. They are living life
in a cartoon.
Now this is
not just one personís cantankerous view. I have this conversation
with many of my text tool-loving friends who have had the same experiences
as I have had with the culture of over-text. I know of many friendships
that have either turned into a barely-a-friendship, or, they have
ended due to one personís consistent reliance on texting as a means
of communication and association.
Again, I shall
express the view that I love portable computing devices, but I donít
allow them to meddle in my human relationships. Humans, to me, have
faces and voices, and those unique characteristics are at the core
of their expressive personality and personal character. Not their
Coster, CPA [send
her mail] is an accounting/finance professional in the
healthcare industry and a freelance writer, blogger, speaker, and
sometimes unpaid troublemaker. She writes about libertarian stuff,
economics, financial markets, the medical establishment, the Corporate
State, health totalitarianism, and other essentially, anything that
encroaches upon the freedom of her fellow human beings. When she
has a few moments of spare time she engages functional fitness,
adventure cycling, photography, conversations with friends, and
visiting wine regions. This is her LewRockwell.com
archive and her Mises.org
archive. Check out her
website. Follow her on Twitter @karendecoster.
2012 Karen DeCoster
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