Who calls anymore

text
Phone calls are dead. People just seem to be texting more. You’re in one room, mom is in the other and instead of calling she texts you. Well can’t really blame her, she knows your nose is stuck on your smart phone’s screen, fingers married to the slide of your phone. It’s like hands are glued to the machine like your life depended on how much you spent on your phone. Texting is sucking the blood out of physical contact in the real world. Even handshakes are becoming rarer. I mean who has the time to change their phone from one hand to another and offer you their arm for a handshake? Totally uncool!

Dates have even been rendered critical in the ICU. Two people on a date at a café, few nods here and there, they’re both on their smart phones. I used to enjoy matatu (bus) rides, you’d hear varying conversations. From which neighbor is banging whose wife, which thief was burnt alive, to even conspiracy theories to oust the boss, all would be planned in the matatu albeit in soft hushes. Some were loud. People talked. Really talked.

Nowadays heads are bowed as if in prayer, the only sound you hear is those gals who have those ridiculously long nails tapping mercilessly away. You’d hear a soft giggle here, a muffled swear word there, then followed by deathly silence. Woe unto you if you are in a Highrise Matatu route 16, all you hear is creaking noises of the mat struggling to move. Seriously why doesn’t their Sacco impound those worn-out-carrying-tetanus-hazardous matatus! Most if not all don’t even have radios. If you’re not hearing the metal scraping against metal, then its plastic paper bags beating against the windowless frames being hustled by the wind. Or worse someone happily snoring away.

The only action I got once was when the door came off its hinges as we ‘sped’…I use sped lightly loaded with heavy sarcasm…along the highway. At least it got people talking. For a minute. Then back to heads bowing, fingers tapping away as if on cue to a sliding-and-tapping marathon. Oh, the joys of technology ‘sigh’

Conversations have been reduced to emojis, likes, emoticons, and instant reactions…even minions among other nonliving objects or representations of the human being. Face to face conversations are becoming extinct. Soon we’ll be so far gone in texting that we’ll even forget the voices of the people in our lives. I shiver. I shudder. WhatsApp has even made our addiction to texting worse. A guy once asked me for my WhatsApp number…it’s no longer just give me your number, WhatsApp is part of the conversation ‘sigh’… When I asked what time he would call in the evening he happily told me “I’ll text you”…life has become that simplified.

I’m just waiting to hear that someone proposed through text, she texted back yes, they texted each other their vows at the wedding, then texted each other the honeymoon location, she texted her that it was a boy, he texted back with several excited emoji! And they texted happily ever after. How grand!

I have no problem with texting but conversations have been taken away from us. When was the last time you just sat down with someone and spent even just 30 minutes talking and really listening to each other talk? Not looking at your smartphone to reply a text or see whether someone texted you. Some have become such experts at multitasking, they text as they have a conversation with you. Who looks into the other’s eyes anymore while talking? I dare say texting has become a global addiction that is causing more harm than good.

I have ever seen a driver in his vehicle bent over his seat probably replying or sending a text while one hand tried to maneuver the wheel. He was lucky it was in traffic but that distraction alone could have caused a major loss either his life or another person’s. But who cares about humdrum things like traffic rules right? That text won’t send itself now will it?

Come on people, look up once in a while and smell the roses, look at the morning sun, breath in fresh air instead of taking in air from the ground because your head is always bowed down reading and texting. Good things are passing you by because you are cooped in the house texting, sending and replying. When we carried heavy books in Primary School, it was called an ‘academic angle’ because one shoulder slumped from the heavy backpack. So what do we call head permanently bowed over the palms…head-hand-angle or what?
Next time someone asks you “Who calls anymore?” just tell them…me!
Live in Burgundy Moments
Mulunga

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