Lately I have noticed that I have begun using text messaging as my primary form of communication with my friends. I will text message them prior to calling to see if they are available to actually speak on the phone. I prefer to text message as I feel this is slightly less invasive than the phone ringing and let's be honest, how many people actually check their voicemail and listen to the message?
I have a friend who we will call Maggie. Maggie really doesn't like to receive text messages. She will not engage in a text message conversation. She especially doesn't like to receive text messages from the guy(s) she dates unless it is a "quick" text message informing her that you will be late for your date with her. In today's world, where everyone is multitasking--answering the phone at work, responding to emails from clients/coworkers, instant messaging with your friends, and surfing the web simultaneously, I used to think it was odd that my friend Maggie didn't like text messaging. I need instant gratification. I simply do not have time to wait for someone's cellphone to ring 4 or 5 times(or more) before I get their voicemail to leave a message that they probably aren't even going to listen to. I would much prefer to send a text message that the recipient can respond to at their leisure and sometimes even faster than listening to their voicemail and returning my call.
I used to feel that way until I met my new friend Bill. Bill is an annoying texter. He refuses to pick up the phone and actually dial my number and hear my lovely voice. In fact, I don't think I have ever received one phone call from him. He just text messages me. One afternoon we attempted to make plans to get together that same evening. Of course this entire conversation was over instant message. The IM conversation lasted until I left work for the evening. Then the conversation was picked up where we left off on IM and continued via text messaging. Because I was running an hour behind, Bill decided that we should just make plans for another time. So I texted messaged him that was fine, let's chat tomorrow (on IM) and figure something out. I thought this was the end of the conversation, but I was wrong. Not only did Bill continue to text message me his thoughts and ideas for the next few minutes. He continued to text message me until 12am. I finally text messaged him and said with all the text messages he had sent me that night, we could have actually had a conversation face to face. I was a little annoyed, because clearly Bill had time to text message me all night long but didn't even pick up the phone to have a live vocal conversation. The best part of this story is Bill literally lives the next block over from me.
Bill likes to instant message me throughout the work day with nothing really monumental to tell me. One time I decided I had enough of his gibberish so I decided to block him from instant messaging. Obviously that was the wrong move because as soon as his ability to communicate with me via instant messenger was blocked, he reverted to text messaging me. Now, not only do I NOT want to talk (IM) with Bill but now he is using up my valuable text messaging minutes!! So I have unblocked Bill from instant messaging because I would rather be annoyed by the flashing window than have my cellphone minutes used up by his inane conversation.