I have this friend who refuses to live in the 21st century – when it suits her.
And I’m talking technology – what else? Sure, she’s got a mobile (not a smartphone) and even a laptop sitting on her kitchen bench (for the kids to ‘play’ with I suspect). But no broadband connection. Landline phone: never checks her messages. And while she used to write and respond to text messages on her brick phone, it was minimal word usage only. Often, only one word answers using minimal letter words: Yes. Ok. Confusing if you’d just written her a mini essay with multiple questions embedded within, and, quite frankly, bordering on rude.
Me: R U up for coffee today? When suits you, morning or arvo? Could do after 5 if not too late? My place or yours? Lemme know, K xx
Then we went to stage two – the late reply. After sending my friend a text (by then, general in nature and certainly not urgent), I would often not get a reply till days later, and in the same nonchalant, too brief manner.
Me: Hi, have you read …? Will save it for you if you want, otherwise will swap it tomorrow at bookstall. Let me know ASAP. x
Hmmm?! Quite often, these type of replies (days later, if at all) would require a follow up phone call, after waiting a purposeful 2-3 hours / sometimes days – hopeful of a response & trying not to seem too nagging – my friend would often claim to have received my text during a busy time & forgotten to reply. (Gee, thanks).
But now, the late reply is non-existent, and my follow up phone calls are even decreasing.
Yes, I often just pick up the phone & call to talk and so does my friend, but the beauty of text messaging is to get a quick response without the pre-requisite chit chat/small talk/how’ve you been etc etc. Ok, some might call that politeness and friendliness, but when you see & speak to a person regularly, this isn’t necessary for each and every communication. And for busy people, texting is great to organize a catch up – time, place, meal/drink preference, kids or no kids – so friends can have a meaningful one-on-one, face-to-face interaction together. This, I appreciate.
So, that’s the background info leading towards my recent quandary. Now that I’m away and travelling for an extended period of time, will I ever hear from my friend? Distance calls on mobile are too expensive; emailing is not her thing; facebook - well, she’s even a FB friend but never writes on her own wall, let alone comments or likes on others. I tested out the sms thing days after we left on our trip, saying we’d left ok and I hope she got the things I’d arranged to send over to her, and how I’d miss her when I’m away. Guess what? No reply.
You might say, take the hint sister, give her the flick, and any other person I might. But I’ve had this friend for 16 years, I love her and her family dearly, and really appreciate her friendship. But should I not expect to hear from her till I return back home?
Please, post me some advice.. now!