When frostbite is gnawing on our nipples, like it probably is on yours right now, we appreciate the summer in a completely different way than we would from the beachside, thong-in-your-face POV in mid-June. We’re experiencing summer right now because we miss the shit out of it.
We reminisce about the delicacy of being toasty and warm – how great it would be to sweat, even! What we wouldn’t give for some pit stains right about now.
Our memory is grasping for summer right now because we’re so cold. And I’m thinking about texting in a way I never did when I was “allowed” to do it because now, my thumbs have gone cold. It’s been 4 days of being #textless, and I’m freezing.
I’m just a couple of days in, and I’m over here like a bozo dreaming of laying on the beach in the Message Maldives where my thumbs sweat to keep up with demand. And just a few days ago, I was spewing about how much I hate texting – I mean, I’m the person who elected to got ditch my texts. I feel like such a bonehead! So, what gives? Do I actually miss texting, the humans behind the texts, the me I become when I text, all of those things…or is there something else bigger here behind the scenes?
Before now, I didn’t fully grasp just how tightly texting was holding me in its clutches despite my daily frustration with it. The amount I’m thinking about it now is intense. It’s on my mind because it’s not in my hands.
I can’t even see if anyone is, in fact, even attempting to text me at all. What if no one is? FOMO and insecurity are creeping in, which have never really been things for me before.
As you can imagine, questions like “Why isn’t my phone ringing off the hook since people they know I can’t get texts” or “Is my crush texting me and I just don’t know it?” “Does anyone actually like me?” and the doozey, “Am I unlovable?” are nipping at my confidence a bit, and I’m feeling a tad tender. I rarely, if ever, feel that way. Has texting been a big part of the scaffolding of my confidence – of all of our confidence? To be explored further.
What I do know is that texting’s kept my Ego tanned and glowing all year-round. And now, she’s way too pasty to wear a mini skirt. No strutting for you, Ego! You stay inside. No soup for you.
This is a good thing. Since I can’t receive or send texts, all my default patterns of extrinsic motivation and external validation are glaring. I’m having to build new strategies. I’m having to decide if I want to do the real work to actually connect. I’m discovering it is, in fact, work. It’s easier to not do it. I’m deciding if I want to survive on quality, or if the quantity will do.
I’m having to give quality, too, which is also more work than just spewing a few texts now and then.
I’m showing love and appreciation in more consistent, non-textual ways, but on the same token, not all my contacts are.
Most people, namely suitors, have stopped reaching out, because they don’t want the intimacy or “weirdness” of a call.
What’s so weird about a call? Nothing. But, at some point in the last decade, it became obvious that calls are the more in-your-face, I-can-hear-it-in-your-voice route, so being the lazy, cowardly creatures we are, we started taking the text route. I was one of those people, to the zillionth degree. Calling is only weird ‘cause texting is easier. It’s not intimate. There’s a veil.
My core group of friends and family are making an extra effort to connect via voice, FaceTime and Google doc diary, though. And I love that. But no one else, outside of my inner circle, has made that leap. The people who were putting in minimal, comfortable, throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall effort before #textless have now transitioned to zero effort. And thus, as it stands now, I am drastically more alone with my own uninterrupted thoughts. That’s awesome. And shitty.
This demonstrates something I never would have dug out if not for going #textless: There’s a huge distinction between noise and love; between contact and communication. We don’t ever have to feel that distinction, or learn from it, because our text-heavy culture drowns it out.
And by heavy, I mean constant. The pure volume of texts I was receiving (and sending!) was consuming. It’s hard to admit I didn’t realize just how addicted I was to the constant noise of texting, even though I intrinsically craved deeper, more quality contents.
At the end of this week, I’m sitting here feeling a massive void. I created that void intentionally. I’m feeling a space. I’m feeling a silence. But even though that’s what I wanted, what I didn’t predict was how much that silence feels a like being unwanted.
I’m not used to the peace of it. I’m not used to the cold yet. And I’m feeling like I many have taken the summer for granted. But maybe that’s because I haven’t learned to snowboard yet.
Onwards, I go.