Face to face
It’s JMHO (just my humble opinion), but TTYL (talk to you later) doesn’t seem like the right thing to say at the end of a text. I wasn’t talking in the first place, and the next time we communicate will probably also be nonverbal. And that’s fine with me because I don’t really like talking on the phone, and the thought of actually talking to a real person is far worse. If I can just text you the regular platitudes, I don’t have to tell you how I’m really doing. If we keep our friendship only surface deep, we can always get along and be happy to know each other. Sometimes I’d rather leave it that way.
I can friend you on Facebook, and you can comment on the photos I just uploaded. I can update my status to let you know that I just lost a seed-spitting contest (because everyone cares), and in 20 minutes I’ll update that I can’t believe my printer ink ran out after only 102 pages. I won’t tell you that I just ran into three people on the sidewalk because I was walking and texting with my earbuds in while I listened to my iPod. I have a lot of Facebook friends, but I’m tired of commenting on their comments because “love the hair!!!” seems dull, and I’ve posted that several times already.
I can search out who just tweeted because I follow 40 people, and I want to know what they’re all doing right now because I’m bored. I was going to text you again, but then I remembered you’re in class and I wouldn’t want the phone to buzz since it is supposed to be off.
I’ve avoided calling my teacher because I don’t want to discuss the fact that I need some help with the assignment. I’m never sure if he’s mad or if his voice is always that low on the phone so I’d rather not talk to him. He never answers his e-mails, but I’d rather not call.
Although technology is good for many things, it can never replace being face to face. Furthering our relationships with others requires time. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”Miscommunication is rampant in short, emotionless texts. And the brevity of remote communication leads to shallowness. Friendships require lengthy discussions about the past, future and present, and full sentences that reveal dreams, hopes, sorrows and joys. Although it may be easier to text or e-mail, speaking to a friend conveys far more meaning and can deepen and strengthen the relationship.