Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Direct Contact

This has been bugging me all frigging day.
Somewhere around four years ago, I met a woman and we dated for a bit. Nice lady... so I thought. Her idea to break the news to me that she wished to move on was to send me a text message. In the end she was a chicken-shit!
That's probably as low as I've ever felt as a human being.
So... My landlordess shows up this evening just as I'm going out shopping.
That's me in the middle with the jeans.
“Happy Spring!” She says. She's a bubbly sort. “I brought you and Rick tulips!” Rick is my upstairs neighbour.
Now, the last time a girl sent me flowers was... well... a long time ago. (I still have the photos to prove it.) I don't do the he-man bullshit when it comes to getting gifts and I happen to like getting flowers. Especially when they are potted (as the tulips are) and I can plant them in the garden later in the spring. That she would even think of such a thing makes me feel special. You're damned right she got a hug for it!
I'm not much for texting.
My boss and his boss seem to like texting a lot more than I. There are those out there who proclaim it to be more efficient. After all, you can type a quick message, put the phone down and get busy doing laundry or feeding the kids or typing that all important email while waiting for a reply. What could be more efficient than that?
How about a fucking phone call!?
I tend to piss my bosses off by calling because, in two minutes, I can get my answer and be on my way without having to wait an extended amount of time. That's efficiency. I have my answer and the issue is over. The last time I checked, a smart phone was still a frigging phone. Trying the dialing thingy. It's the best app on the damned thing.
Twice this past week, I saw FaceBook messages that told me friends were in trouble. In instances like those when people are reaching out, I think texting or FaceBook comments are a cop out. It's the quick, dirty and now you're done with it and can move on with your day having done something sincere. That's a load of crap. It's like throwing a buck in a homeless person's hat and claiming you've done your bit to solve world hunger.
Of course I picked up the phone! A friend was in trouble, for fuck sake.
Wake up!
Another friend was trying to start an organization in her town in the U.S. I didn't do an awful lot and yet I managed to get part of it off the ground for her from here. It wasn't that difficult and she seemed to appreciate the effort. Isn't that what it's all about?
Why would I do such a thing as make a phone call or show up to help when technology can handle it for me? There is nothing like human contact to slow things down and share the load. A voice is far, far better than a text message. Hearing someone's voice and being able to vocalize your issue is far better for the psyche than black and white words on a digital screen. I can't speak for them and I know personally I will take a phone call over a text message any day when I have a day when I'm feeling lost.
Any day, any time, any where... period.
It's far too easy and cheap to fire a comment and move on to the next photo of who had what for dinner. It's far too easy to seem connected when we're not. The person on the other end reaching out? They probably don't feel the same connection with a text message as you do at a time of crisis.
Our capacity for communication has increased with technology. Unfortunately, I believe our capacity for humanity is decreasing for the same reason. There is nothing like personal contact to help ease the angst of life, even if you're breaking up with someone.
At the very least, a phone call would have made me feel like a human being. And maybe I would still have respect for her.
In the end though, by making a phone call or showing up, it's my own self respect I'm taking care of as much as I'm taking care of a friendship.