I’m slowly, reluctantly, being drawn into the text-messaging era. My techno-scout friends already are pushing the issue toward its inevitable conclusion.
In recent months, my text inbox has moved from dormant to exponentially active. Resistance is futile.
Soon I will be forced to communicate with my thumbs. In a world that increasingly advocates an evolutionary mindset, it is somewhat striking that thumb communication has become a sign of progress. I don’t think Adam ever looked at his thumbs and thought, “Boy, these things would work great for communication.”
Unless I’m hitchhiking Route 66, recommending a movie or remembering the Fonz, I seldom use my thumbs for anything beyond their intended purpose.
What makes the thumb worthwhile is not its ability to tap out “omg did u c doug’s colmn 2dy … lol!” Rather, the human thumb is important because it is opposable.
It is the only finger on a person’s hand that can oppose or turn back against the other digits.
This gives homo sapiens the miraculous ability to open front doors and mayonnaise jars. Unfortunately, it often takes a slamming car door or an errant hammer to reveal the thumb’s true value. A sore thumb truly sticks out like a sore thumb.
Sadly, to serve our endless desire to engage in inane banter, the thumb has been conscripted into the realm of text messaging. The other eight digits spectate while the thumbs are forced to work in tandem, clearly uncomfortable with their new found prominence.
Like most modern advancements, society is not waiting for my approval before it moves ahead. Consequently, I have to either keep up with this brave new world or move to Amish country and learn how to make handcrafted wooden furniture. I’m not very good with a hammer (I keep hitting my thumb), so I guess it’s a trip to the mall for an expanded messaging plan. I already can imagine the conversation …
Snappy dressed sales guy: “For $2 dollars a month we’ll give you one free text message, but for $29 dollars a month we’ll give you unlimited texting.”
Depressed customer: “Is there another plan beyond those two extremes?”
Snappy sales guy: “Well, you could always move to Amish country and start making heirloom quality furniture.”
Soon to be assimilated into the Borg customer: “All right, I’ll take the unlimited messaging. But, could you please staple the receipt to my forehead.”
I guess all this makes me sound like a grumpy old man. This might have something to do with the fact that I recently turned 36 years old and therefore I am no longer relevant. Even so, I just had to squawk a little before I’m con-text-ualized.
I know I might be offending my Internet, YouTube, blogging and texting demographic, but those two guys seldom read my column. Their too busy playing Halo or voting for the next American Idol. Even so, I still had to find a way to redeem my pain. Like all good columnists, I turned by personal crisis into a column. This way I get to kill two birds with one stone. A couple hours of therapy and a column to boot.
Don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t consider my readers birds to kill with stones. I’m just saying my thumbs enjoy throwing stones far more than searching for tiny vowels and consonants.
My religious friends probably are wondering if today’s column has any spiritual significance. I’ll tell you … sometimes pastors think about things that have absolutely no spiritual significance. Today’s column testifies to this reality. Unless my readers can redeem it.
Send me your best “spiritualization” of text messaging and I’ll try to use it in an upcoming column. I don’t care whether it is serious or humorous, just make it interesting. Please
e-mail your comments.
Absolutely no text messages will be accepted.
Doug Bursch is the pastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. Reach him at www.yesevergreen.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.