Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Imagining the Reality of You

I feel like Seinfeld. 
"What's - the deal - with texting?"

Yes, what is the deal. Here I am, left to figure out how I might gel with a person via communication completely lacking in TONE? Tone is everything. And so we project tone into these lines, these words because we are human and are talking to someone else, but through an email version of conversation - one send at a time. We are left with nothing but ourselves to talk to inside the boardroom of our minds, having coffee and discussing the meaning of things; debating, deciding FOR the other person, WITHOUT the other person. 

Maybe the monosyllabic generation of twenty-five-year-olds I continue to encounter has it right: 

Twenty-Five-Year-Old: hey

Hey. Yeah, hey. Hey how are ya? Hey, let's call each other and let our voices float in blackest space somewhere! Hey - let's meet up in person, step back in time to a live animatronic version of history where humans sat face to face trying to master the art of conversation, trying to articulate, trying to speak one's language well. I don't always speak it well, but hell, I like to bend words to my will sometimes. Or brand them with a big ol' E on their behind.

Eva: hey is for horses...

This neon 24-hour connectivity is finding us all with little to say. And deflating the willingness to say things aloud.  Where is this Connectivity Cowboy wrangling our millenial herd to? I think Joaquin falling in love with his OS system isn't really that far down the river. Hey, if your phone could READ your texts to you in a personalized manner? That would mean that a computer is then deciding exactly how the other person's tone is - injecting it with the judgement of a computer brain. And then the Robot Apocalypse (or something) is just around the corner. 

"Robocalypse" - the title of my next screenplay, starring Amanda Linda. She's a big youtube star, ya know. And those people are also taking over the world - or...portions of particular ones. 

Here is the point - we want to get to know each other. We meet more people through technology and dance around them in a tone-less setting. But I don't want Scar-Jo to read me their words. I want to hear them. I want to know the timbre of your voice. I want to see the expression on your face. I want to feel the energy of you, whoever you are, and feel...normal about it. Don't we have a hard enough time evaluating - much less knowing - what other people mean when they talk? Take ALL of the clues away and how will you protect your capacity to care from shrinking away entirely? The care is diminishing before our eyes and hearts in various puffs of magic smoke. You lose interest. They lose interest. You're all just....not very interested. And if you (heaven forbid!) ARE interested, you are terrifying. At least, these are the messages I am seeing people send to each other every day. 

We're all feeding this fear that deeper human interaction is a big, scary monster that comes out at night and wants to breathe on us with slobber dripping from its pointy, yellow teeth. And we are missing out on what is exciting and real. I feel forced to live in my imagination with a Brian Greene version of this person I want to get to know because I am now responsible to re-create the dimension lost in translation. All due to the safety net of textersations. 

I don't want to have to guess what someone else means. I don't want to be my own interpreter - like I have to look at some version of me signing from the side of the stage. What if I'm wrong about what you are saying? Who will tell me? Who will correct me? Do I continue on with my misperceptions, misunderstandings, and inefficient subjective absorption? The cost is that we may miss each other completely. If you had just showed up on my doorstep and walked me to the coffee shop... I'm just asking - what is the point of communication at ALL if we can't (and I hate to use this word) successfully get our messages across? We are breaking apart into tinier and tinier islands, doomed to end up like a Gary Larson cartoon where its just you and somehow, a duck that talks.

No one wants these responsibilities. No one cares to own anything anymore except the newest gadget. A handful of us... if you just put that phone down and grasp a handful of us, you won't be sorry. 

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