Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Talk to Me

My mom often asks me, "Have you talked to so-and-so lately?" And I'll say:
"Well, I texted her the other day."
"He wrote me on my Facebook wall."
"I chatted online with her the other night."
"I got an email from him yesterday."
"Saw a tweet from her today."

You get the idea. My question is, can I just shorten these responses and just answer, yes? Do I really have to explain what the specific form of communication was used? Especially to my mom who doesn't know what any of those things are?

There are so many different ways to "talk" now without actually speaking a word. I used talk to my husband several times a day. He'd call me in the morning while he was at work. I would give his cell phone a ring at night when I was at work. But now we mainly text back and forth in the morning, in the evening, and usually only speak to each other when we're in each other's physical presence.

A similar evolution has happened with my out of town friends. We used to call now and then but for the longest time it's been mostly emails. Then the birth of Facebook changed all that and that's how I "talk" with everyone now. But the great thing about texting is if I'm thinking of something, right that very moment, I can shoot my friend a quick text about it. I don't have to dial. I don't have boot up the computer and log in. Unless it's late at night, because many of my friends are in that thing called the eastern time zone and I work late. But texting is nice, especially for things like movie quotes, song lyrics and other things that spark old memories. And general frustrations of life.

I always marvel at the fact that most of my plans are made without talking on the phone. Especially with groups. It's like having everyone on a conference call. Ah, the magic of the mass email or multi-messaging on Facebook. We can meet in a park, on a certain day, at a certain time, with all the makings of a great picnic without ever hearing each other's voices before that moment.

So the next time Mom asks if I've talked to so-and-so, I think I'll just say yes. Does it really matter whether we texted, tweeted, Facebooked, emailed, chatted or whatever else we do besides speak to each other? Not really. Truth is I probably wouldn't know as much as I do about my friends and family if it wasn't for all those forms of social media. And that's something to "talk" about.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Are you 'talking'? No. Are you COMMUNICATING? Yes! (And as Communication majors, that is good! :) ). I am always telling my Mom about something happening in my hometown (where she still lives) or in the extended family, and she asks 'how do you know THAT?'. My answer is 'Facebook'. I think she gets tired of hearing it, but she won't get on Facebook.
Anyway-you are keeping in touch. That's the important thing. The method (media?) you used to do that doesn't matter. I 'talk' to my sister every day on email and Facebook- but to talk to her on the phone? That's happened just a couple of times since June.