Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We used to speak. We used to face one another, note eye color, and let words slip from our tongues and dance directly into the other’s ear.

We used to post letters. We used to position ourselves at a writing table, guiding letters from our hands to the page, writing with intention and finding romance in the act itself.

We used to talk on the phone. We used to schedule a time to speak and expectantly sit, listening for the trill. And when we spoke on the phone, we located the words with care, for the time we had was limited.

We used to compose emails. We used to marvel at the concept of our words traveling thousands of miles in mere seconds to greet our addressee.

Now chat.
Now we scrawl.
Now we leave voicemail.
Now we send single-word responses thousands of miles in mere seconds.

Now we text.

Exclamation points and corny emoticons aren’t a decent substitute for actual words. When facing one another to exchange our thoughts was the only way we could communicate and there were no intermittent texts or voice messages to bridge the time gap, we could create relationships. Now, a relationship takes so much longer to gestate and arrive.

The process is stalled by communication.

That's counter-intuitive, for it stands to reason that with all the modes of communication available to us, relationships would blossom faster and last longer. The opposite is true. Or at least if you define a relationship as a meaningful connection between persons, forged over common interests and repeat face-to-face interactions.

Now, we don’t have relationships, we have relations. And they are shallow. And they are quick. And they mean less, for they can be tossed together more quickly. Which is more significant: A quesadilla your spouse made for you with tortillas, cheese and a microwave, or a repast your spouse planned, spent hours executing, and decorated the table to present? If your answer is the former, stop reading, guide your mouse to the top left of this page and click Next Blog, for my thoughts aren’t for you. I find that I dive a bit deeper than a nuked cheese-tortilla.

I am not special if our “relationship” was “forged” by text messages and exists only therein.

All this is true, and all this is sad, but all of this is our reality. When we interact, we do it backwards. We text. Then we email. Then we call. Then we speak.

I’d much rather have the courage to speak first and text later.


Capable Girl said...

I totally agree! We have become such communication weenies. The path of least resistance (or God forbid social discomfort) is the trend these days.... I applaud you for bucking the trend!

whitneyingram said...

I can't comment on this. I would offend way too many people.

Maria said...

I completely agree. I was just talking to some friends the other day and I mentioned how weird it was to think back to when we were kids and did not have computers in our house. Now could you imagine not having a computer?? Everything these days seems to get done via IM, email, internet.... Sad, but true! :)

Mal Robin said...

Sorry i text you meg.... whoops.

Megan and Keli'i said...

Yes, texting does not forge lasting relationships! But it sure does get the job done when you gotta question to ask and you don't want to spend hours on the phone with someone! So glad I got married before I even HAD a cell phone. Or a phone at all! Ah, the good ol' days...so long ago. HA!

meg said...

It's been more than interesting to compare how I grew up and established relationships with how my children have/are growing up. My oldest son (in his 20's) actually wrote a paper on how superficial and shallow his younger brothers' relationships seem because they don't know how to talk to each other. They know how to IM and text, but even phone conversations are rare - and therefore talking in person in meaningful ways, even rarer. As an observer of all this I have to agree - and of course it has snuck into all our lives as well. I enjoy the technology we have in our lives, no doubt. But it cannot replace a warm, meaningful relationship.


Julie said...

And have you noticed that the main reason we use those ghastly emoticons is to reassure the person on the other end of the message of our true meaning/nature of our feelings on the subject, as text and email messages are often misread/misinterpreted.

So, does this mean that emoticons are replacing vocal inflection and body language?

How sad.

Anonymous said...



texting is helpfull when you don't feel like communicating but have to.


i would love to go back to the days when i had to go to my friends house to see if they could hang out because my mom wouldn't let me use the phone. weird that she wouldn't let me use the phone. but good at the same time.

Kristen said...

Amen! It makes me sad when I see families out together and all of them are on the phone with somebody else rather than talking to each other. It's no wonder there is a breakdown in families...it's partly because there's a breakdown in communication. My poor kids. They may never have a cell phone in their possession while living under our roof.

Megan and Keli'i said...

And rookie, I want to read your comment! Offend away!

rabidrunner said...

Oh man! You beat me to it. I was brewing this grand fabrication of a blog to bring the whole text generation to it's knees. I guess I'll still give it a try... knowing that it will be substandard to this one.

Toots... you are something else! (Is it okay if I call you toots? It's an endearing term. Promise.)

aezra noell said...

wow! Chain me to the wall b/c i am guilty. I love that you put this out there b/c its a nice awakening.

whitneyingram said...

Toots!!!! Brilliant Rabid, brilliant.

It's brilliant because I think of toots as in farts. I live with a 3 year old Can't you tell.

Megan, you are so bummed that she just called you Toots. That is going to stick- FOREVER.

Ha ha! Toots!

Megan said...

Rookie, you were supposed to keep your mental defect a secret.

"Toots" isn't pronounced like "toot" as in to toot a horn. It's pronounced tuhts (how does one write out a dipthong?) with a sort of "uh" sound like in the word "the." But it's more than that . . . Any how, it's not pronounced like flatulence.

And because I know that's what she meant. I'm happy to be called toots.

(Ask mom to pronounce it for you. She calls me that sometimes.)

rabidrunner said...

How about "tuets"? Is that better?

rabidrunner said...

That's not better. Oh well. I tried.