Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Emails, Texts, and Tweets









“You know when you send a text message to someone and you don't get a response right away, you feel depressed? You send a text message to someone you really like and you get a response right away you feel happy? You feel happy, the body, it creates the chemical dopamine, the dopamine, it goes through your blood and you become addicted to that dopamine rush, and you associate that dopamine rush with the happy feeling of receiving the text, and that's why you got people sending 3,000 fucking text messages a day, right, we're not even paying attention to what we're saying anymore it's just like a, like a morphine drip, right, it's like a dopamine drip! HAPPY BUTTONS! HAPPY BUTTONS! HAPPY BUTTONS! TIME TO PLAY WITH THE HAPPY BUTTONS!”

Tom Green

I noticed a husband and wife eating breakfast together. She was on her cell phone texting and he was writing letters. I thought OMG what the hell is going on there? WRITING LETTERS!!!??? It's not even Christmas…

It's all about the fast track to get a point across. As I type this I actually had to think about spelling out 'breakfast' and not 'bfast'. I spend entirely too much time pondering which emoticon to use that could get my point across when three-letter acronyms are simply not enough…LOL :) .

Our methods of communicating have changed so much and I often think about what will it be like when our children grow up? What will their memories be? Do written words have more value if done with a pen and paper, then thru cyberspace?

I have always collected words, quotes, notes, cards…I have been kicked out of classrooms for written and passing notes. I have been grounded for a bazillion years for my parents finding my notes. I have used letters to mend hearts, beg boyfriends, and coerce parents and teachers. I have one note that my mother saved that says that I would kill myself if I didn't get a parakeet. I don't remember writing this note, but obviously it was all there in black and white, reflecting the true level of honing my narrative skills at an early age. My best college friend, Laurel, known to be quite the hoarder (obvs), ventured into the trenches of her closet and lo and behold found a letter…from me…circa 1990 something. Three whole pages filled with hope, new love, laughter, and young woman insights into the future. WTF!!! What kind of concussion did I receive that makes me not remember ANY of this? Alzheimer's? Should I check myself in now to the senile association? The only familiar thing on the pages were the innocent handwritten that i recognize as my own. It's not just these few examples. I have many, many letters that have surfaced throughout the years that reminded me of who I was at a time when I didn't know who I was. They show the Amy that has been lost behind the many hats of Mother, Aunt, college graduate, daughter, private investigator (wink). It's all there in black and white. They weren't lost in the rubble of many travels, or moving houses, or garage sales, or messy cars. They were saved because they meant something to someone at time or another. They were special.

I am guilty of this same hoarding of notes. I have every letter my mom sent to me or my grandmother. I have letters my Aunt wrote when she was dying of cancer. I read every note from the hospice nurse about my mother when she was dying. I keep these things near and dear to me because I swear I can FEEL the people who wrote them I can hear their words while I read them. I can hold the paper that they held. I feel connected.

My kids live in an age where life is fast and immediate. Instant gratification. If you don't believe me, turn off our internet connection and listen 5,4,3,2,1… surprise! you found your kids. A slow internet connection is the equivalent to running out of cassette tape ribbon when you're trying to record American Bandstand. JUST THE WORST EVER! They receive birthday notifications from Facebook and not face to face. The love notes occur over direct messaging and Twitter. Even pictures can disappear within seconds on Snapchat never to be seen again. I read an article saying that yearbooks are almost extinct! STFU! Where will everyone write, "Stay Cool!" at the end of the year. But this isn't where we are headed…this is where we are!!!! My 90 year old mother in law doesn't have an email and I think that she should receive some kind of award for that, because I followed some lady named 'Grandma Betty' on Facebook AND Twitter and she's like 100 (she WAS 100, Bless her soul).

And when this generation is older and wiser and reflective, where will they go to visit the person that they were? Where will they go to 'feel' the words that their loved ones wrote. I found the card my mother wrote to me when I was turning 14 signed "I love you, Mom' and I instantly recognized the handwriting. It was my mother's. I tattooed it on my wrist, in my mother's handwriting, and so help me God, if it were in the form of a text it would look like shit! Miranda Lambert, my future husbands current wife, has a song titled Automatic, and she sings,

"If you had something to say...You'd write it on a piece of paper...Then you put a stamp on it…and get it three days later….it's only worth as much as the time put in". It's only worth as much of the time put in…hmmmm. Maybe it's time to slow down.

It's only worth as much as the time put in. If everything is sent through texts, and snaps, and Tweets, and IGs…what will we have to hold someday when we need to feel a connection that isn't around anymore?….. So I take out my journal and I write about anything and everything so that someday my kids can have something to hold that I held…and something to read that I wrote…with my own hands……from my own heart…...that won't disappear if the battery dies...







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