People belly-ache about having to respond to so many text, email and Facebook messages. I have a simple solution: Let’s go with the digital flow, and eliminate verbal communication.
According to some statistic I just made up, the average American spends 26.5 hours a day texting and typing digital responses. Email is like those dudes from Hydra: Delete one, and two take its place.
Something’s gotta give, folks. And the answer is quite is simple. It’s time we stop talking to each other.
Just think about how inefficient human speech is. Consider the conversation with my daughter at breakfast.
Me: “Good morning.”
Me: “How’s it going.”
Me: “Big day? Lots to do?”
She: (Shrugs) “Eh.”
Holy waste of time! Do you think anyone would take the time to type all that out and text it through? No. So why are we wasting these previous seconds?
With texting and email, you’re concise. Straight to the point. That whole exchange with my daughter took 13 seconds. That’s 13 seconds I could have been clearing out my inbox!
Texting and email is so much more efficient – especially texting. And with words abbreviated – “NVM” “IDK” “WTF” – we are typing less too. That’s less wear and tear on the old fingers.
These days when families get together, they’re already immersed in their screens. It’s only logical that we all take the next step drop the charade of conversation, and stick to texting and emailing each other – even when we’re sitting side-by-side.
With this time hack in mind, I endeavored to eliminate talking altogether. And my family happily joined me.
Talk is Cheap
I told the family that we would be eliminating verbal communication. Actually, I texted it to them.
My daughter, who is the family’s digital denizen, simply shrugged, noting that she was already 75% through this transition. My 18-year old son, who is never around due to the fact that he is 18 years old, was not around to object.
My wife, who hasn’t spoken to me in five years due to the fact that she’s on her phone more than the kids, simply didn’t respond at all. (People kvetch about kids and their phones – how about the moms?)
So we embarked on our non-verbal world. And what a different world it became.
That morning, none of the family members bothered to put their dishes in the dishwasher. They never do. But instead of yelling and screaming about it, I ignored it, because I was responding to texts and emails.
Soon other things in the physical world that I used to crab about started to fade into the background. As I stared more intently at my screen, surrounding reality began to blur, become out of focus.
I realized I was looking more at my wife’s face on my screen saver and my Avatar in real life. In fact, I had become so honed in to the digital world, that I would go hours, nay, days without looking up or out. Why bother? You can download a picture of a tree – why do you need to look at it?
We were descending deeper and deeper into our digital world, when something pulled me back.
It was a high-pitched whine. I didn’t recognize it at first, but gradually, as the world came into focus, I realized what it was.
The wiener dog.
The cherished mini-daschund didn’t have the ability to text, and since all verbal communication had ceased, he hadn’t been let outside in five days. The house was strewn with dog feces and urine, and we hadn’t noticed due to our digital dementia.
Suddenly, the world snapped back into focus, and I picked the little fella up. He licked my cheek, a sensation that simply couldn’t be downloaded.
“Ok, bud, let’s put you out,” I said, my first words in five days. I opened the door, and let him scamper outside.
Back in the real world, I realized that I hadn’t bathed in nearly a week, the real mail was piling up, and in fact, the house was on fire.
They say talk is cheap. However, my latest epiphany proves that unless you want a home that’s on fire and filled with dog poopie, it’s actually priceless.