Thought Catalog

The Digital Age

The days of simply slapping a “sincerely” and a flowery signature at the end have gone the way of the handwritten letters. Nowadays, there’s pressure to squeeze every ounce of digital face time into making yourself into an unbeatable kick-ass person. The way you end an email is the last impression you give to somebody, whether it be a future employer or your roommate.

The next day, he asked me to be his girlfriend. With a burning in my heart, I said yes. This was serious business. I knew I didn’t want to be without him, so I took the leap. I was on Cloud 9. But also silently freaking out. I hadn’t been Someone’s Girlfriend in so long.

Heightening the aforementioned emotional experiences is the ominous unanswered text message. Perhaps you’re just reaching out as a gesture of thoughtfulness, or perhaps it’s a deeper expression of longing, but whatever it is, if it goes unanswered, it can be, and usually is, quite hurtful.

Your flaky friend is allergic to your text messages. They’re fine with everyone else’s but when you text them, they start itching uncontrollably, scream, and throw their phone against the wall. A few hours later when they’ve stopped shaking, they’ll read your text and give you a vague infuriating response.

I wake up in the morning and the first thing I do is reach for my phone; I sift through the notifications; who ‘Likes’ my pictures? Who has replied to me, mentioned me? I am hooked on the feedback drip. Increasingly I feel less sure of myself in real conversations; I can’t read faces. Real people are a blank mirror. I clutch the cold glass brick of my hand in my palm to feel better.

If the “hate” category were added to Facebook, chances are you’d have a better picture of the person. Maybe said-person secretly loves Dancing With The Stars or dreamy lead singer Adam, but they also hate (as per their profile page) American Idol, the entire Twilight series, and Eat, Pray, Love, and that’s something I can definitely deal with.

Watching the promotional video for Envoy, a real/unreal digital service that claims to specialize in reanimating the Facebook profiles of deceased users, you hope that it’s a hoax. “Two certainties in life exist: You are born and you die,” says Envoy’s Max Doughherty. “We know this is fact, yet when a loved one passes it’s still very distressing.

This audio clip of a voicemail has already received over a million hits. Why? Because it’s hilarious and real. A drunk girl describes her shameless crush to the wrong boy and the whole experience is excruciating and awkward and hysterical to listen to.