letter of complaintJanuary 30, 2008
To the ever-present sphere of electronic communication:
I am standing in the band hall when it happens again. My phone buzzes gently in my slacks’ pockets, and I find myself obtrusively communicated to by the outside world. Not that I really mind all that much. I like getting text messages, but you have to understand my point of view. Well, let me explain.
You see, I am a salaried individual, a tax paying citizen, an indebted American, and a teacher. I consider myself fairly fortunate to be able to participate in the world in such a boisterous manner as I do, being able to pay for gadgets and fun and toys, and the like. Among these is my cell phone, which, while being no whiz-bang contraption, is certainly a vital part of my day. Many times have I received life-saving calls directed at my daily schedule that prevented me from being late somewhere important. You may find this hard to believe, electronic industry, but I really do use this phone to keep me abreast of the waves of reality that often threaten to pull me under in ways such as making me late to things.
Secondary to this, and very welcome, is the occasional influx of information and conversation I receive from all corners, usually by way of text messages. Friends, family, loved ones, all. I need this function on my cell phone, it is vital to my connection to those I care about. Thus, I pay a good deal of money a month to pay for services that I consider important. I only have a limited amount of text messages in my plan, and there may come a day when I want to text a guy all night long over silly pillow talk, and I need those free messages available to me.
So I address this complaint to you, universe of information transfer: Please stop treating my phone like a dying email account. I don’t want your forwards, I don’t want your “reply soons,” I don’t want to send this to fifty of my closest friends. I don’t need to know about the Money Bees, and I don’t need to know that Alltel will pay a nickel for every time this message is sent to the family who’s daughter is dying for the fifteenth time. We’ve seen those emails, and they rank right next to Nigerian bank scams and ads for penis enlargement. You don’t humor me, you don’t flatter me, you don’t get the point, so please, wide world of quizzical messages, please stop texting me, or I’ll have to block your number, and neither of us wants that.
His Holiness, me.