Monday, July 21, 2008

SMS: Stupid Messaging Shit!

Everywhere you look these days you see zombified people holding their cell phones 6 inches from their faces furiously thumbing the shit out of their keypads. They enjoying the act of communicating via SMS (aka Text Messaging). You can find texters in stores, restaurants, at work, pretty much anywhere a cell phone can be used. They are easily recognizable by the pained look of concentration on their faces and the fact that they are completely oblivious to everything that is going on around them.

I hate cell phones to begin with and I especially don’t like text messaging. Personally I’d rather just phone a person than use SMS. It’s faster, it’s easier and it’s a much more clear and effective means of communication.

I could understand using text messaging under certain circumstances. Say you were meeting a friend at the Mall and were going to be late or something or maybe you want to remind someone to pick up some milk at the store. That would make sense. But to attempt to hold a conversation using text messaging seems foolish. Why spend 20 minutes typing back and forth, waiting for your texts to be received and their texts to arrive (there is no guarantee that texts will be delivered immediately) when you could call the person and get the same thing accomplished in under a minute?

The thing I hate about text messaging the most is the rudeness of it all. I can’t stand it when I’m in the middle of a conversation with someone and out of the blue they pull their phone out of their pocket because they’ve just received a text message. While I continue on with what I’m saying I see the person open up their phone and read their incoming message. At this point I’ve already concluded that they feel their text, although they haven’t even read it yet, is more important than whatever I’m saying. If the person is really obnoxious they will have no qualms about sending a reply to that text right then and there. Now they aren’t even pretending to be paying attention to what I’m saying. Why not just pick up a phone and start talking to someone while in the middle of a conversation? It’s pretty much the same thing.

There is another layer of rudeness associated with the above scenario. I’m not sure how to describe it so I’ll use an analogy.

Suppose you are sitting in a small room with a friend. You might be having a discussion or watching TV or eating dinner or anything, it doesn’t really matter. All of a sudden a stranger walks into the room and whispers something into your friends ear. Your friend whispers something back and the stranger leaves the room. Three minutes later the same thing happens again. Then again and again. If you are a normal person it wouldn’t take very long before you were thinking, “WTF??!”

I don’t see much difference between that scenario and hanging out with someone who is texting someone else, the only difference is that the stranger doesn’t physically come into the room and the whispering is done over the SMS network.

I decided to do a quick Google search on “text messaging etiquette”. The first result took me to and lo and behold the number one etiquette tip is:

Common courtesy still rules. Contrary to popular belief, composing an SMS while you're in a face-to-face conversation with someone is just about as rude as taking a voice call.

1 comment:

Heather said...

What I hate is when the freaking CASHIER pulls her phone out of her apron pocket and texts someone. WHILE she's ringing you up. Ridiculous. I like texting, but I am not rude about it.