Modern Technology Kind of Makes Me Want to Hurl

As a rule, I’m not a fan of time travel. Sure, it would be fun to have cocktails with Zelda and Scott, but there are dangers to consider. Lack of antibiotics/deodorant, time-machine malfunctions, raptor attacks, accidentally erasing the existence of Ryan Gosling – these are things that legitimately concern me. However, there are days when I would happily brave a quick trip back to ye olde smoldering plague-ridden London, if only to avoid sending a text message.

Y’all, I hate my iPhone. It makes me a crazy person. Sure, it always knows where I am and can look up movie times instantly, but it’s also ruining my life. At any moment, my phone can beep out a demand that I talk to someone about my feelings. I’ll just be going about my business, watching Harry Potter and eating chocolate toast, when – BOOM! – someone wants to know if I got an invite to my ex-boyfriend’s wedding.

This stresses me out. I like face-to-face conversations just fine. E-mail is my jam – though, admittedly, this is because I can take time to draft a perfectly worded message. But the phone? Oh, God, the phone is the worst. Except with a select group of people (namely: my mom, Mae, and Kate), I am awkward as hell on the phone. There are unnerving silences, blurted out sentences, and nervous laughter. All of this is magnified if we’re talking about something important. I just really want to see the person I’m talking to, you know? How do I know how that accidental slip of calling Professor McGregor “my boyfriend” went over, unless I actually see his silent scream of horror?

Y’all, I’ve just now gotten to the point where sending the dear professor a text message doesn’t take 10 minutes. The first three months of our relationship were spent analyzing every word typed, to ensure the proper mix of intelligence and charm. Do you know how hard it is to convey “I am so charming, but also self-effacing and cute!” in thirty-word bits of text? It takes talent, kittens, of the sort I do not come by naturally.

Sometimes, I think we’d all be better off without modern technology. A three-page love letter, delivered by an actual mailman, takes more thought and carries more meaning than any text message ever could. A planned phone call on a land line would surely go better than an out-of-the-blue “I’m just sitting in traffic!’ cell conversation does.

Maybe I’m just a Luddite, readers, but the old ways don’t seem so sad and misguided, as they do sensible. I want a chest of letters to keep, instead of a file to save! I want to not worry about missing a flirtatious text message, while watching a movie! I want to not have experienced that awkward first phone call with Professor McGregor last night that has me writing this blog! Zelda darling, you may want to make space at the table, because I’m revising my opinions about cell phones and time travel.

- Grace

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17 thoughts on “Modern Technology Kind of Makes Me Want to Hurl

  1. He lives out of town, right? You can and should make those love letters happen. Say you want them and put on a phone ban outside of emergencies. Seriously. One day you’ll be really happy you did.

  2. I agree in some ways. I enjoy texting and email because I am blisteringly awkward and will sound funny live. But I love talking on the phone and writing the letter. I always get better advice over the phone and I love the feel of letters. They feel more real.

  3. Fellow non-fan of speaking on the phone too. I don’t mind it. Too much. But, agree totally about the face-to-face thing. You can read their face and adjust conversations accordingly. You don’t know what’s going on on the other side of the telephone line!

    Texting I don’t mind. Though I have been known to write a text, not send it, rethink it half an hour later and send. They are minefields.

  4. Tell the Fitzgeralds that I am going to join you! Can’t stand phone calls. Letters with my name on them give me butterflies (even when it clearly says on the envelope that they are from the bank).

  5. Simply loved this! And the thought of time travel simply to spend and evening with the Fitzgeralds is one that I share with you. :)

  6. Pingback: Why I both simultaneously love and hate my iPhone

  7. Oh I so can relate! I hate talking on the phone, and not just to my near-deaf grandmother. I am always self-conscious about sounding too loud, too gay, too something to actually listen to what is being said. And the amount of times I have to ask the other party to repeat something because I just didn’t understand. A foreign language is so much easier to grasp in writing or when the other person is sitting in front of you.

  8. I hate talking on the phone to anyone. There’s so much room for misinterpretation and ALWAYS at least one awkward silence! My boyfriend and I see each other every day but we still write each other letters pretty often. We don’t mail them though. The writer just slips the recipient the letter just before we say goodbye. It’s great! You should work out a system like that, or something that is more convenient for you and your professor.

  9. Sometimes I leave my phone at home/off on purpose, because it’s really liberating. Something about being totally present without these weird other distractions popping up and ruining everything….

  10. I agree. Nothing worse than being engrossed in some awesome True Blood when my phone starts annoyingly pinging at me about something inconsequential. Still, got to be better than raising carrier pigeons in terms of convenience :-)

  11. Goodness, when I was a child my parents owned an antique postcard album that was full of the most charming postcards (Imagine the word MOTHER written in large letters accross the card with garishly coloured cherubic faces of smiling children beaming out from within the letters’s outlines) that sported the most delightful messages such as “Yes, I would love to come to afternoon tea on November 2nd. With love, Betty”.

  12. I totally agree! I’ve set a goal to write out thank you notes and cards to people because it really conveys so much more than a text ever can. Sometimes I want to go back to a more sincere/less technologically advanced time where love notes and meaningful phone calls abound. But I wouldn’t want to give up Ryan Gosling. What would be would be really great is love letters from Ryan Gosling…

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