A Short Message from Sami (SMS)
We are disconnecting more from each other in a time when we are more able to communicate than ever before thanks to technology. 2020 has been a strange year and one where many of us have felt lonely, even if we are not alone.
I think many Corona made many of us stop and question if we are living the life we really want to live. I think many of us are guilty of texting rather than picking up the phone to chat. But texting has sunk to new levels when it comes to perpetuating the feelings of loneliness through being disconnected.
Phones are like crab pots: once you get in it is very hard to escape back to the real world! Now when you receive a text message from a friend or loved one you do not even need to reply with words – you can just press on their message and 6 options come up for you to tap in response to their message. You can tap love heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, Ha Ha, !!, or ?. Apparently those 6 emoticons cover any possible reaction you could have to any possible question or scenario given to you.
I sent a text asking my husband if he wanted to watch a new TV show that night and have some quiet time on the couch together. He replied with a’ thumbs up’ emoji to my message. I immediately picked up the phoned and told my poor partner in no uncertain terms that he is never to thumb me with such reckless abandonment. Clearly terrified, he agreed and now we have a deal if one of us bothers to text the least the other can do is return serve.
If we are being better humans we can actually call each other. I know I hide behind the barriers of texting sometimes, because it is easier than speaking to my friends, but I do feel less connection with them when I text them opposed to chatting to them. And feeling connected to our loved ones and our workplace colleagues and our friends is surely one of the biggest joys in life that makes us content. Yet now we don’t even have to text back with words thanks to these annoying and insidious 6 emojis.
So please take the time at least to use words to respond to my text messages because these new 6 symbols are like a diet to me: they leave me feeling unfulfilled, with a niggling feeling something is not right, very cranky, and hungry for more after a short time.