Thought Catalog

The Digital Age

Leaving someone a voicemail message on someone’s cell phone in 2011 is not only misguided, it’s selfish. It’s difficult to think of a situation in which leaving a voicemail is necessary because, well, it’s not.

At parties: Feel a tingling sensation in your thumb, begging you to refresh your feeds during every awkward moment. Feel a strong inclination to whip out your phone during any silence that lasts over ~1.5 seconds. Find that you can usually fight the urge, but instinctually check FB and Twitter when conversations cease and you’re unsure of whom to mingle with next.

Text messaging has revolutionized the way we communicate with each other. In my own life, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will simply never talk to certain people on the phone. No matter how inconvenient and irritating it is to send endless amounts of text messages to coordinate a date or arrange a time to meet, a real phone call will never be answered.

When Cathy finds Tom sitting in the park, sipping on a Slurpee, she seems happy to see her friend. But what she doesn’t realize is that Tom has recently experienced lousy times on the Internet. “I was surfing the net last night, and I saw some things,” Tom tells Cathy. And his expression tells the story of things not easily unseen.

“Ariel was born into royalty but rejects her status; I think this speaks to the whole idea of affected suburban ‘hipsters’ who pursue a ‘fantasy urban lifestyle’ that is more or less defined by their local Urban Outfitters.”

Do not leave me a voicemail. I will not listen to it. I’m going to press the corresponding number to delete your message as soon as the automated voice recording concludes. I’m going to press it with conviction, like a little boy who just won a raffle to implode an old baseball stadium.

Arcade games mirror life: life, which — no matter how much we want to avoid it — can only end with one inevitable result.  Or, as an eminent poet once put it: “…For I haue dyscust/ We ar but dust/ And dy we must.”