Over the years, as i have grown older, i find myself dreading face-to-face interactions with human beings. It’s not that i don’t like talking to people, i just prefer instant-messaging. IM-ing is how conversations should be conducted. For one, in this day and age of serial multitasking and decreasing attention spans, it is just not possible to give anything or anyone exclusive access to your mind space. With the latest outrage on Twitter, mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed, and obsessively checking your email, IM-ing is just so much more in tune with the time-sliced times we live in, you choose when to read a message, and you choose when to answer, if at all.
People on IM have developed this subtle social protocol: If the other guy sees your message, and chooses not to respond, you know that they are not interested in continuing this topic at this time. If repeated messages are not responded to, but read, you know they are not interested in talking to you. Period. It is so much more difficult to end a conversation as easily in real life, short of looking at your watch or yawning or clutching the edge of the table lightly as if you have to stand up or ask for the bill, all of which are considered rude, and are more likely to have a long-term impact on people’s perception of you than just not responding to an IM. There is no way, in the non-virtual world, you can tell someone you do not want to talk to them without drama.
On the topic of drama, IM is the perfect vehicle for having fights with your parents or significant other. Because it is just text, there is no question of “you raised your voice” or “stop rolling your eyes”, the medium takes gestural aggression out of the equation. No one can shout over the other because everyone gets to type, and no party can deny having said anything later on, or having been quoted out of context. The best? You can search for keywords through your past quarrels in order to prove your point. Now if real life conversations had been like that, we might have seen a few more marriages saved, or broken, i don’t know which one is better.
And the reason i can tell you all this, honestly and without subterfuge, is because i am typing it. If we were sitting across the table, i would talk about the weather.
DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.