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Monday, September 14, 2015

A Decade has Come and Gone.

Do you feel old now? Well, you're not. Ten years is only a drop in the bucket when you consider how many years you have left, but that's not really what I'm talking about. I'm talking about communication.

Ten years ago, online chatting was the way to communicate. Texting happened, but lots of people were getting to know one another online. I was no exception. I made many friends, some of whom I met in person. It was great. It was also very out of character for me.

I'm not an extrovert.

Today people prefer texting. I do not. It might have something to do with the fact that I type more than 100 wpm, so chatting with people feels seamless and natural, in spite of the fact that one cannot always understand the nuance behind the words. Texting feels awkward and silly. It requires abbreviated messages that rarely convey what I wish to say. And I'm finding that many of the people I would text with don't answer very quickly. That doesn't lend itself well to conversation and when I want to talk with people, it's usually because I want to connect and converse, not leave a pithy message and then wonder if it will be answered.

I think, too, for someone with PTSD, texting is counterproductive. There are times when the intent behind online chat can be difficult for me to decipher. When it comes to texting, multiply that difficulty by about a million.

So in a decade I've become a dinosaur. I don't like to text. I'm the only person on this earth with a cell phone who prefers to actually use it as a phone or not at all. Don't get me wrong. I like getting texts. I like hearing from people I love in any venue. I just don't want to send tiny messages to each other, sandwiched in between everything else we have to do, until we eventually become bored or distracted by something else.

But no one really chats online anymore. And it's rare that people call each other either.

I find myself in a very similar situation to the one I was in just over 10 years ago. I rarely talk to people. I work long hours. In my spare time I run, or read, or practice the piano. And that's how it's been for most of my life. It's probably the way it should be.

So I'm left wondering what happened to me a decade ago when I suddenly began talking to complete strangers, and connecting with people I'd never met (and might never meet), and a day did not go by without my starting a conversation with someone, or some person finding me. I think maybe I just went a little crazy. I forgot who I was for ten years.

Or maybe I was possessed. I think that's probably it.

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