Emails, text messages, notifications, tweets, voice mail, it goes on and on, and the messages pile up unopened. Anyway, who uses voice mail these days, every message is a text instead. I don’t think we have used our answering machine in years. Many people no longer use landline phones. They have become attached to their smartphones.
The last time we used an answering machine, a local politician running for Governor left a half-hour message on the machine, taking up all the space. No one else could leave a message even if there were an emergency.
Me? I don’t like phones in general. No offense meant. It’s been years since I would spend endless hours talking to a friend on the phone. Yes, there was a time when I would be on the phone with a friend for more than an hour. All my friends had to be local numbers, or I wasn’t allowed to call them. Those long distance charges from years ago could tick off an unsuspecting parent.
People will text each other for the silliest of reasons. Did you watch Survivor last night? No, did you really need to text me to ask if I watched the show?
If you were following a recipe and couldn’t read the ingredient I had written on that paper, well that is a different situation. I wouldn’t mind responding.
Sometimes I do respond to Facebook and Twitter posts. Facebook can be iffy at times. Words are not always clearly written, and messages can be misunderstood and twisted in the most bizarre ways. Auto correct on a Smart Phone doesn’t help matters either. Talk about twisting your words and making matters worse.
The older generation does not understand the new manners of texting, posting and tweeting. Many times they will add salutations at the end of the post or message not knowing that this is usually done with an email or letter. When we receive posts on our Facebook boards, the person posting is announced by their profile name and picture. There is no need to say love your Grandma at the end of the post or instant message. We know who you are.
The younger generation needs to learn some manners when it comes to answering their older peers and family members. Yes, Grandma is expecting a thank you for the gift or birthday card she sent to you last week. This isn’t just because she has been waiting for you to show respect and gratitude for the thought, it is to notify them that you did receive the item in the mail. If you don’t tell them, then they will worry, believing that it became lost somehow or maybe even stolen. Think about common courtesy and follow through on your end and everyone will be happy.
There have been times where I messaged my daughter in the past, and she misinterpreted what I was trying to say. A time when the instant message was the new form of communicating. Things can be said in a message that can so easily be misunderstood or taken the wrong way because we can’t see the facial expressions behind the message. There is no telling if the message was said as a form of sarcasm or was supposed to be a personal joke. What did they mean by that remark?
Text messages and instant messages have to be carefully worded to be confident the receiver is not taking what is being said the wrong way. A great rule of thumb is if you can’t be clear in the written message you would be best to either phone the person and speak to them or better yet, talk to them in person.
I would prefer a visit from a friend or family member any day over a text message.
How about you?
Linda Nelson is a writer, blogger, daytime worker and student at Franklin Pierce University. Her studies are taking up a significant portion of her time while she finishes up her bachelor degree in Accounting for the intent of acquiring her Masters of Science in Accounting. She also has a diverse degree by the additional business courses added to her curriculum along with some Social Services classes. Linda is a member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Monadnock Writers Group. She is the author of Along Came Neil, a Young Adult Sweet-romance which is the last book in her Wings from Ashes trilogy released in 2013. Linda is working on other romances, but their release dates are still undetermined. Linda lives in Southern New Hampshire. You can reach Linda at her website lindajnelson.com.