Posts Tagged text messaging

The tyrnny of tim and txt

Last Wednesday I bid farewell to another year of my life, letting it slip through memory into the confines of history. My history. And, reluctantly, I welcome the grey hair, wrinkles, surprises, pleasures, crises, wisdom, experience, deja vu of another year of my life.  With the hope that the  year will be different from the previous ones, but not so different that I struggle to make sense of it. 

More than anything else, I wish life would slow down so I could keep pace with it. One day at a time. One hour. One moment. So I could live, truly live, each moment, and not rush willy-nilly from one moment to the next, one day to the next, one year to the next. Having the experience and missing the meaning. 

Time is  a precious commodity today, isn’t it? No one seems to have enough of it.  Specially not readers who want their authors to write tight. Today’s readers have perilously short attention spans and very little time for verbose communicators. Words compete today with the television remote and the computer mouse. One click or one press of a button and you can go back and forth, skip something, replay it or remain frozen at a particular point. Who says time travel is science fiction?!  

We have more and more and want less and less.

And yet, as William Brohaugh points out in his book, Write Tight, Hemingway wasn’t competing with Nintendo and ESPN when he wrote his admirably crisp and clear prose.

I belong to the generation that still remembers the pleasures of letter-writing but has made the smooth transition to e-mailing. And now I listen, bewildered, as people tell me they have no patience for e-mails. It’s Orkut scraps, Facebook pokes, or texting and sms-ing. Instantaneous and telegraphic communication. 

We live in an age where the diminutive, the brief and the simple are highly prized in communication, said Umberto Eco. And text-messaging embodies this zeitgeist perfectly.

Generation Txt. Everyone is jmping on the bndwgn. (Source) Text messaging is growing up.  So much so that if you do not possess a mobile or cannot txt, you are, effectively, a non-person. 

Cellphone novels are all the rage, I’m told, in Japan. Seventeen-something young girls text away the ‘profound insights’ of their life into their cellphones, on their way to college or a part-time job. Not a moment of their life wasted. Theirs not the  life of simply standing and staring. 

The truncated messages of texting are just words sans vowels, the assumption being that the words can easily be guessed from the consonants alone. Which is funny considering that vowels are often sounded differently in different words! 

What springs to my mind when I think of texting is the bonsai – small, compact, exotic; reality miniaturized. But can the bonsai match the grandeur of a tree?

Anyone who has known the pleasures of sitting in the shade of the spreading branches of a tree, climbing and exploring its secrets, sitting atop, reading, sheltered in its foliage on a  hot summer day,  will know what I mean.

The bonsai has its beauty – the beauty of the hothouse – but I’d rather go climb a tree!! 

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