I feel like, for me, it all started with AIM/MSN Messenger and yes that reveals a little about my age but let’s work with that a little later yeah? I remember rushing home from seeing my friends at school to get to my computer to talk to my friends from school on MSN Messenger. The nudges, the status updates and of course signing on and then back on to garner attention from your crush. This feels like the beginning of a need for an instant reply, and reaction to something I’ve said to someone. This has all given further definition and anxiety to the ellipses, that darned “…” if you will.
Flash forward a decade or so, I know here we are reflecting on my age again but you’re going to have to live with it so move on now, and we’re in the age of iMessages, and DMs to be slid into. I truthfully want to forget the times of Blackberry messenger, so we will and you’re welcome for that. None of this post is to say that face to face conversations do not still occur because they do but you can’t reflect visually upon them with horrid anxiety like you can an online chat or text thread. Any and everything you say to someone can be screenshot and shared with the most unauthorized eavesdropping ever. This is a thought that envelopes my brain when I talk to anyone. This paired with a fear of a “…” or ‘read’ checkmark with no reply from either. I will, as I assume most do, yell at my screen “I know you’ve read this so just respond”. The real-life version of this is saying something to someone’s face and having them nod and walk away without responding. Now, I certainly have my days of anti-social behaviour where I leave someone on ‘read’, but I’m usually falling back into a depression nap, or maybe I made the mistake of opening a message before I was ready to respond. This causes me to enter a state of instant regret. I feel the same way after I send any message that makes me feel vulnerable. This doesn’t make me less upset when someone does this to me.
I’m making an effort to stop overthinking when receiving, or not receiving messages. I’m trying to reinstate the idea that no one owes anyone any time into my mind. And perhaps stop throwing my phone across the room like a teenager after sending a message, but Applecare will probably cover that right?