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The Tyranny of Texting

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(This is an article I wrote for my romantic advice blog — The Leading Man.)

Back in the olden days, if a man wanted to irritate and annoy a woman, he had no choice but to do it in person.

Then came an invention which revolutionized man's ability to transform himself into a pest. Alexander Graham Bell developed the telephone, and instantly men embraced it as one of the most useful devices of all time.

Thanks to Bell's brainchild, it was now possible for a man to completely overdo his communications with women, and drone on about his opinions and alleged accomplishments for much too long — without leaving his own home!

But man was not satisfied with his newfound ability to brag and bore via long distance. Man wanted more . . .

Eventually, he invented answering machines and voicemail, so that even when a woman is not at home (or decides not to answer, because it might be him calling) he can still leave a message, which she can ignore and erase at her convenience.

Later, email appeared on the scene, which allows men to instantaneously send unwanted electronic messages to women.

Today, thanks to the Internet and social media, we have any number of avenues for bugging the crap out of the fairer sex. With just a few keystrokes and a click of the mouse, a man can announce that he is lonely, socially inept, lacking in manners and respect, and that he has very little of importance going on in his life.

But the the apex, the piece-de-resistance of male groveling-by-proxy, is a technology that every one of us now carries in our pockets: cellular smartphones, and their ability to send and receive text messages.

With "texting," a man can become a nuisance, not just to one woman, but to several within a short period of time — and he can do this from virtually anywhere. (Even while driving.)

Text messages allow men to wear out their welcome at an unprecedented pace. Once, it might have taken several weeks or more for woman to lose interest in a man, as she gradually became disgusted by his incessant intrusions into her life. This same feat can now be accomplished in a matter of days, or sometimes even hours.

Text messaging simplifies man-woman interaction, omitting irrelevant elements such as body language, tone of voice, and the necessity of making eye contact, and pares interpersonal communication down to its essence: tapping out words and emoticons on a miniature keyboard with one's thumbs.

Weak, immature, clueless men everywhere love text messaging, and can't live without it.

The rest of us . . . What the hell is a text message??

© 2012 Kevin Delaney

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Like all technology and advances in human progress, text messaging can be convenient and enjoyable when done correctly, or what you describe when done wrong. The issue is not the texting, it's the annoying people sending the texts. Worse comes to worse, the man or woman can just block the number.

I love text messages in many contexts -- and I was a holdout for several years into widespread adoption.

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Reminds me of when someone told me how her grandparents met. Grandma used to hide and curse whenever that "obnoxious, irritating, man" came around. One day he came over, sat down in the living room and refused to leave until she agreed to marry him. And they lived happily ever after.

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is, but you don't need modern technology to pester a lady. :D

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