Communication Etiqutte

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 

Coincidently I was waiting in line at the supermarket and saw a magazine with an article on how to seem young – rule 1: never leave a voice message; then a friend wrote about how her phone wasn’t logging calls and her friends would call and not leave a message thinking the voice log sufficed to suggest their call was sufficient information to warrant a follow up.

This is indicative of a total collapse of good sense into the chaos of mindless stupidity. If someone calls my phone and doesn’t leave a message it says either that the call wasn’t important or it was so timely that a return call would come too late to be useful, so I won’t bother. Indeed, even if someone leaves a message, only if they specifically ask for a call back would I ever bother. If you called me and thought you were being hip and with it by not leaving a message, then I was being even hipper and wither by further reducing communication to zero.

Another stupid thing the kidz have taken to these days is using facebook messaging as a substitute for email. It is not. There is no fucking way I’m going to respond to a message notification in my EMAIL by launching a browser, visiting facebook.com, and waiting for it to open just to answer a message from somebody who can’t manage a normal email client. It isn’t like someone’s avatar icon enhances the content of their message. I realize there are people who for various reasons don’t have the resources to set up a real email account or don’t own a computer and have to rely on ersatz email like Yahoo or gMail, and for them a facebook message seems like the same thing, but it isn’t. Ignorance is no excuse.

There are many problems with facebook as a messaging medium, not the least of which is the transience of the messages there, the fact that you don’t own the content, that you can be denied access at any time without recourse, that it is slow and tedious to deal with more than a message or two, and, of course, it is a huge pain in the ass to read and respond to. Because I actually use email for things that matter, rather than just teenage chatter, I have live archives back to 2000 and nearline archives back to 85, longer than most of these youngsters have been alive.

So just because kidz think it is cool to cheese cat urine doesn’t make it so. We’re all old enough to know not to huff pee or paint and we’re all old enough to know how to leave a message like a grown up or know the difference between email and the social messaging flavor of the week.

Posted at 22:22:32 UTC

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