Monday, March 23, 2009

Friends don't let friends text and drive

I want to say something controversial. More controversial than the zebra, and more controversial even than that one time I said that the American version of The Office is overrated.

But what topic could be more inflammatory than a morbidly obese Zebra? What could offend more than just incessant Michael Scott quote-ers?

I hate text messaging, that’s what! Hate. It. There, I said it.

I know a lot of people live for it, but what set this whole thing off was the other day some absentminded texter almost ran me over in the store parking lot, which sucks because they don’t let you into Heaven if you die in a text related car accident. St. Peter says, “You died how? That’s ridiculous, get out of here!”

I can tell you this much: people who text and drive do most definitely go to hell, of that I’m sure. Pretty sure that’s in the Bible, Qur’an and all other religious texts, and I think atheists believe it, too. And although they don’t let you into heaven if you get killed by a texting driver, they will, however, let you into the Guiness Book of World Records for “Most Pointless and Depressing Way to Die.”

I will admit that text messaging has its merits in a few select situations, like short, informational messages. And there’s the optional post-date wrap-up, which is always nice. Sometimes after I go out on a date with a girl she will text me and say, “Hey, I had a really good time.” Like I said: quick and informational.

But for general communicating and socializing, I think text messaging is a waste of life.

For one, text message “conversations” stretch on for hours and into days. They will bleed into weeks, months and years if you let them. Generally it’s not even anything important, just nonsense.

Sometimes I get a random text from somebody I haven’t heard from in a long time. They say they’ve been meaning to catch up, but a few minutes into the “conversation” I realize they just got bored while they were waiting in the doctor’s office to get a mammogram and there weren’t any good magazines. With the miracle of texting you can get messages all day from people who don’t really like you enough to call you, but will send you messages that are 160 letters or less.

Planning something over text messages takes FOREVER. The process of “What do you want to do?” plus the “who/what/when/where” of young adult social planning equals approximately 20 texts minimum. By the time you decide on something and get the logistics worked out whatever was happening has already gotten over.

The most tragic part of the texting epidemic is that some people just can’t stop. Their phone becomes part of their hand and they seem to never be able put them down because they are constantly texting a thousand people all the time. You can’t carry on a normal, in-person human conversation with them using primitive things like voices because they are so intent on whatever nonsense they are tapping out on their phone.

One girl tried to have a serious relationship talk with me over text messages, like, “So where do you think this is going?” This is how I responded: “Seriously?”

I just don’t think it hurts for human beings to talk to each other once in a while, especially if they can manage a face to face talk. We have to hang on to our humanity somehow.

So don’t text and drive. It’s not cool.