It’s amazing how evolution works, isn’t it? How things to do with, well, anything, experience movement. Change. Evolution. Relationships today have so many tools to make sharing that special moment, easy. Effortless. No thought required. Reaching out to let someone know you’re thinking about them is as a snap or rather a click. Even a tap. A swipe? Android people? As easy as…Hi.
Let’s look at What’s App, averaging 50 million messages sent per day. It would be super cool, if we could get the stats on how many of those were salutations. Hi. Hola. Bonjour. Hej. Ni Hao. Eh. And my all-time favourite…Yo. The way we converse, has certainly evolved. I immediately think of my Welsh grandmother (my only surviving parent going strong at 80-something) and her stories of the months she and my grandfather, Arnold, spent apart right after they got married. Looking back on it now, she probably thinks she should have treasured those months of solitude a little more but she has seen the end. Arnold is dead. Poor fella. She would tell of the letters they would write back and forth to each other, as their only means of communication and as newlweds this mad de until they were reunited.
As a little girl, I was encouraged to write letters to my cousins and aunts in Wales and other parts of the world. For me, it was all about the sheer anticipation of getting home from school and seeing a letter, meticulously placed by to the phone (landline!) with my name scribbled on the front. Michelle Eng Leang. Depending on how it was, I might get a full on Michelle Antoinette Eng Leang. Let’s not talk about the mispellings. And while my pleasure was fleeting, for I have always been a speedy reader, I ask, what replaces that joy today? Do we have to work as hard to reach out to each other? The answer is obviously no. The real question then is, are all our conversations genuine? Or are we just replying because he can see that I am online?
If we were to go back to letter-writing and landline phones only, how many people would we reach out to on a daily basis? Are they the same people on our actual list of conversations today? And I’m not talking work. If they are not, then why the difference? Why are there some people we talk more to on WhatsApp than with a voice call or worse yet, an actual visit?
Very quickly on work, WhatsApp has made work a bit easier. I set up meetings with a quick hello and ask questions that I need urgent answers to and get them. And my favourite, if I’m running late, I can fire across a quick excuse which really doesn’t exist because I’m. Just. Always. Late.
Now the fellas behind WhatsApp clearly don’t care whether our messages are genuine or not. WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton received 116 million shares of Facebook stock currently worth nearly $9bn when they sold WhatsApp earlier this month. That’s a lot of Yo’s, yo.
Have you noticed wee don’t even write emails anymore? It’s too much trouble to type in an email address(which is completed by auto-field after eh second letter) and God forbid, a subject? A subject? Do you pick up the phone, call your ball and chain and say, “Ok darling, let’s call this convo,’What’s for Dinner?” It gets worse. I decide to send without a subject and you question me? Am I sure? See? Just talking about it is a pain. Emails were sweet though. Remember? (Still not accustomed to the bipolarness huh?) I wouldn’t mind going back to the romance of emails. You’re pounding away on your laptop, working. Fucking about online. Screen shopping (window shopping a la Internet. Did I just coin a word?!?!?!) and then you remember to check your emails. That’s of course if you’re like me and have ALL your alerts and notifications switched off. I have a problem with my phone or computer talking to me apart from Siri of course. She is my sister from another mister. Am I making any real point today? Where was I? Check emails. Right.
You go to your inbox and there’s that email from that special someone just checking in. Now that I think about I just feel that a little more work and thought went into that. but what is the real difference between sending a message vs an email? Is there one? Regardless of what you answer to that ricochet of questions, fact is we are using our smartphones to communicate over the various messaging platforms that are free and available to all. So saying Hi is. Just. Easier.
I hope you’re lucky like me to use these technological advancements wisely to truly stay in touch with your dearest and not so nearest. Use your cameraphone to prod your bestie for thoughts on a shoe that you might purchase…whether seen in store or online…OOOORRRR if ya slick like de Chatterbox, seen on someone in the line at the bank. Though that is usually to have a giggle, cause I eh wearing nutting nobody pumping with here in T&T. And while you may think that is a topic all on it’s own…one sentence. peplum and wedges eh for fucking me.
Chatterbox out. Miss you already.