Mobile messaging. That’s the new thing I’m told. All the kiddies like to text. They are over email. They use Facebook but not what you want them to use it for, and are not that into Twitter. Now I am supposed to text people. A really nice man told me this the other day. It took all of my strength to not slide off my chair and throw a temper tantrum on the carpet.
Instead I smiled, accepted the fancy paperwork detailing what the research shows, and waited for him to leave before banging my head against my desk. I work in communications, but I am getting tired of all the different ways we are supposed to communicate with people. Am I allowed to say that?
Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Blogger. Vimeo. Other shit I don’t use but am told I should. I feel like I am stalking a boy who doesn’t really like me. Hiding in the bushes behind his house. Calling his home, work, and gym. Analyzing the geotags of his Instagrams and showing up in the neighborhood in the off chance I might run into him ordering a latte. Jesus. It’s exhausting. Now I am supposed text him?
I am starting to feel a little desperate. And like it’s all a lot of noise. I am told it is not. That people tailor their information feeds to only what they want to receive. That these are opt-in services. Yeah, for how long? I spent two hours yesterday unsubscribing to email listservs I never signed up for—I just happened to buy a pair of shoes at their store online or donated to save the whales one day. It doesn’t mean I want to buy a matching handbag or save orphaned salmon too.
I guess I just miss the old way of communicating. You know, fifth grader style. When boys passed you notes in wobbly handwriting asking you to go out with them. You circled yes and sent it back across the aisle because it didn’t really change anything because you never actually went anywhere with each other anyway. I guess it’s the equivalent of a like on a Facebook these days.
I realize I don’t really want to communicate like I did in elementary school. It would just be me literally chasing boys around the playground and pretending to be mad when they pulled my hair. I would like to think I have grown. Somewhat. I just don’t think communicating with audiences who supposedly want to hear from you should be that hard.
Maybe I am wrong. And I admit, that is entirely possible. (Unlikely though.) You see I work at a non-profit. People supposedly come here because they want to be here. Why the need to hunt them down on nine different platforms to tell them the same thing? Don’t their alerts just get filtered to one junk yahoo account anyway?
Perhaps I am just acting out to change. But I feel like my phone is my last private place. I am on the national no-call list. I haven’t received a phone call or text from someone other than friends, family, my bank or my dentist in years. Is nothing sacred anymore? Must we share everything with everyone in our networks?
I write this on a public blog. One of my three. I have Facebook and Twitter accounts. I realize how ridiculous I sound. But then again many folks do. And don’t people grow a little weary of listening to everyone they supposedly wanted to listen to post things they should read, attend, or buy? I know I do. Between all the shouts for attention, are we really listening to what anyone is saying anymore? Or are we just waiting for our chance to respond?