I have a dear friend who lives in Hawaii. We have worked together professionally for more than 25 years. We share many passions and have about the same outlook on life. We have bonded closely with many shared interests.
Although we do not work together these days, we are in the same profession and belong to the same professional association. Last time we saw each other was at our Association’s annual conference last autumn. We played hookey for a few hours, went to a casual restaurant, and really caught up with each other’s lives.
However, there are differences. My friend is all about technology and social media. I am not. Recently, she sent me a message via a social media messaging platform. I didn’t see that message until a week later.
In it, she said…
…let’s catch up!
Okay, I would love to catch up. I replied, “I seldom use this social media platform, so pardon my delay in responding to you. Considering the six-hour time difference, when would be a good time to catch up, and how — by phone?”
Her reply, “I sent texts. No answer.”
Again, that was all. Please, my friend, answer my question. It is evident to me that since you have embraced texting and social media, you are not writing complete sentences any more.
My reply, “Please use regular-old email to reach me. And again, when and how would you like to catch up.”
Friend, “No computer. Email is hard. Why no text?”
I’m not going to get into a debate. Suffice it to say, I don’t text because I don’t want to pay for a service that makes rich companies richer and makes me a slave to a portable device. No thanks.
I replied with that statement, and asked again, “when and how would you like to catch up?”
Friend, “Skype at 2 your time”
Me: “no, sorry, Skype is not permitted where I work. What’s wrong with the regular old telephone? What’s your number?”
Friend, “During my commute at 7:30 or 5.”
Again, no answer. Arrrggghhhh….
Me: “Assure me that you are not operating a vehicle — that you are a passenger — because I will not be party to distracted driving. I can contact you at 7:30am your time, which is 1:30pm my time. I’ll take a late lunch break. As for 5pm your time — by then it’s 11pm my time, and I’m long gone asleep.”
Friend, “I use hands-free device.”
Me, “Sorry, as I said, I will not be party to contributing to any form of distracted driving. Do you have any other times when you are available?”
Friend, “Morning get daughter to school then drive to work. By the time I get home, you are asleep.”
Again, that was it. Grrrr… this is getting frustrating.
Me: “Do you have any time on the weekend?”
Friend, “Husband sick. Can afford attendant during week only.”
I am getting the hang of this cryptic messaging, though I don’t like it very much.
However, I know full well the issue about weekend caregiving requirements. I have almost eliminated any “me time” on weekends due to the need to care for my ill spouse. I fit other things into my schedule too, like take LOLITS grocery shopping and doing home maintenance, but that’s about it. My friend is in the same situation.
I regret that I may not hear my friend’s voice on the phone. Her communications will be cryptic and short. At least we are exchanging messages, but I would far prefer to connect by the good old-fashioned phone.
Life is short: try to keep in touch and hold your friends closely, even if non-adaptation and non-adoption of technology by a confirmed dinosaur like me prevents it.