Saturday, January 27, 2007

ICBW IDTS

Which means, according to text messagers, "It could be worse (but) I don't think so."

It seems a Finn has published a 332-page novel written entirely in text messaging abbreviations. Leave it to the Finns, who essentially invented mobile phone culture.

Well, that's one novel I will never read. At my age, I might as well try to learn Finnish as the language of TXT MSG.

I've had a mobile (as they call them in Europe) for three years now, and I've yet to have an incoming call. Not surprising, since no one has my number, and even if they did the phone is never on. I had an instant message once, but it was in English, from another IM illiterate.

The mobile is a handy thing, which I take with me when I travel. I have a cheapo calling plan that gives me 100 minutes for 90 days. I've never used more than 10.

I know a cultural revolution is passing me by, and IMHO a rather significant one. It's like we are all being raptured out of our bodies into the ether. In the new dispensation, protoplasm is less important than pixels. Me, I'll stay in the world where we still go eye-to-eye, hold hands, mush lips, and make babies in double beds.

A hundred years ago, it was the telephone, which Scientific American magazine then saw as "nothing less than a new organization of society -- a state of things in which every individual, however secluded, will have at call every other individual in the community, to the saving of no end of social and business complications, of needless goings to and fro." Another pundit of that time proclaimed an "epoch of neighborship without propinquity." Or, as I suppose we'd say now, ILY W/O F2F

Propinquity survived the telephone. Propinquity will doubtless survive TXT MSG There are some things we can't get via that tiny scrolling screen. A decent haircut? A dozen red roses? A coronary bypass?

BCNU