I remain on the lookout for curmudgeonliness. I think it’s a banana peel next to my grave, and I want to avoid my grave as long as possible, so I try to keep away from the seemingly constant pissing and moaning that affects so many in my age group.
But I don’t always succeed. A big failure point for me involves texting.
I have several friends or groups of friends who use texting as a method of casual conversation. They’re bored or they just want to share an opinion about something, so in comes the text.
And I ignore it. This, for the record, is not a good way to keep up friendships.
But for me, this is part of a larger rule: I am in charge of my technology, not the other way around. This is why I turn off Facebook and Twitter notices that pop up on my phone, along with most of the other alerts that clutter peoples’ devices. It’s why I answer most email on my terms, not yours, unless you’re my boss or further up the food chain. And it’s why I usually don’t use text messaging — especially the horror of group text messaging — for casual chats.
Instead, text messaging from/for me serves a utilitarian purpose — it updates people about where I am, it is a way of checking in when I actually am asking a question or need an answer, and so on. It’s boring, but it’s effective. Anything else…well, I usually just let it pass by.
This position on my communications tech does a remarkable job in keeping all sorts of noise out of my life. And if that makes me a curmudgeon…well, then I am one in this particular arena. I won’t be so busy with my phone, though, that I miss seeing that banana peel.