WOULD IT BE PREMATURE TO ASK … Marilyn Armstrong

Premature vs. Post-mature

Premature indicates a time “before maturity” has imposed itself. Like –“childhood” or “infancy.” Or still budding, yet not bloomed.

Personally, I am post-mature. I flowered, then I got old and my petals fell off. No amount of putting stuff in the water is going to fix it.

Right now, I’m dealing with a lot of stuff. Getting the car fixed from a small but significant accident. This requires setting up a time with the appraiser, renting a car, making a date with the repair shop — at least a four-way deal. It’s also long past the point of finding out exactly which surgery Garry is supposed to be getting for his ear, not to mention and finding out about the technology.

We need to get the chimney fixed though I’m assured it will survive at least one more winter, or so we hope.

There’s a lot of tearing down coming up, too. Removing the collapsing shed. Tearing down the long out-of-use outdoor shower. Fixing the mangled back lawn where the snow plow kid hit it hard with the plow and left it a mess. He was the one who was going to come back and fix it. I think he left town.

What are the odds of my getting this stuff done? {Possibly approaching zero on a close order. Effectively, if I wait for texts and emails., it could also be never. It’s amazing how many texts and emails you can send without accomplishing anything. Without ever setting a time, or place. Whether it’s surgery or appraising the damage to the car.

I’ve given up on emails. They don’t get stuff done. It’s the procrastinator’s tool for prolonging something you don’t really want to do anyway. It turns out, despite rumors to the contrary, a month of emails back and forth doesn’t get an appointment made as fast as a five-minute phone call.

No number of emails to and from your doctor will make you feel like you actually know what your surgery involves. There are many things requiring a personal encounter and a conversation. With questions asked and answered. Especially when you want to know exactly what is going to happen, you need to talk. If you need to know precisely how and when it will happen, ask the questions and get real answers.

More wires!

And — oh yes — how much is this going to cost? You can run through a month or two of emails when a short call will handle it 100%.

Yesterday, we made a date to meet someone for lunch — and we did it in (gasp) one quick 3-minute call. He’ll email the address for the GPS, but we have a date, time, and location for FOUR PEOPLE! Imagine that.

That is my post-mature opinion on the matter of talk versus endless electronic messaging.

–  Texting is for people who don’t want to really be involved.
–  Talking is for people who want to solve a problem.
–  Emails are for people who want to say they never got the email. It is the ultimate procrastinator’s tool.

All life feels pretty much premature. We don’t have a date for the surgery, don’t know the technology involved. Don’t have a date with the appraiser or the repair guy or a car rental. Neither of us know when or even if the chimney is getting fixed. Garry is doing errands and I’m on telephone and email patrol. Which is like doing nothing — with purpose.

I thought all this technology was going to speed up the processes of our world?

As far as I can see, all we have done is extend the amount of time and effort it takes to do every little thing. We are also managing to avoid doing a lot of things entirely. The dates never actually get made. The appointments you only remember because you get an automated call from the hospital.

Doves on the wires in Phoenix, Arizona

It really is living in a bubble with no fixed address. That’s apparently what people really want.

Personal? No one has time to be personal. There’s no time to talk, no time for a leisurely conversation. No time to hear the sound of a friend’s laughter because that’s not available on an electronic communications device.

“I’ll text you.”

And I’ll be waiting.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

29 thoughts on “WOULD IT BE PREMATURE TO ASK … Marilyn Armstrong”

      1. I’m with you 100% on this. I hate texting, unless absolutely necessary. Many is the time I’ve complained to, those who will text me in spite of them know how much I detest it, that “texting” is a waste of time when a short phone call will suffice in a much more efficient way. Texting should only be for emergencies or when a call cannot be addressed. Emails, when you don’t need an answer right away. All of this new tech is great, but when abused, becomes really, really annoying.

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        1. It really slows everything down. There’s an amazing amount of information you can exchange in five minutes. It would take two weeks electronically. I don’t have anything (obvious) against electronics, but they are not a substitute for human communications.

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      2. I was bowled over by the immediate and compassionate response at our PC’s office yesterday as I dealt with my embarrassing “Q-Tip” emergency.

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  1. “like doing nothing — with purpose” OMG that’s so perfect! I have to agree with your assessment on texting, talking and emailing too. It’s truly amazing how people can manipulate the first and the last while talking requires actual action!

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  2. In the past month I’ve encountered the ‘what? you don’t TEXT?’ stare from folks who want to text me about things. I say to them “Sorry I don’t text. My phone is for emergencies only, and I rarely turn it on.” It appears to be bad manners not to text. Who knew? Because (apparently) *sigh* one must then actually find a land line or pick up their phone and DIAL a number in and actually use their vocal cords for more than holding the sides of their neck apart..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a different take:
    – Texting is for people who don’t have the time for a long, drawn-out phone conversation and want to get to the meat of the matter quickly and directly.
    – Talking (on the phone) is for people who have too much time on their hands.
    – Emails are for people who want to document the details of the matter at hand.
    – Blogging is for people who want to express their opinions (and also have too much time on their hands).

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    1. Texting is for quick messages. Talking on the phone is for people who have friends and like talking to them. Emails are so that you can pretend you are trying to accomplish something, but probably you won’t.

      Conversation with other people is for people who have people they care about and know that the sound of their voice will actually mean something to them.

      Blogging really IS for people who have too much time on their hands. Much too much time. But once you start blogging, then you NEVER have any time on your hands. Is that winning or losing?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. You’re right
      – Texting should be short and to the point, but there are those who would partake in “long drawn out” texting.
      – Talking on the telephone is for when too many long texts are involved and a phone conversation would cover it in way less time.
      – Email is when you need a written record of your correspondence and reply can be delayed if necessary.
      – Blogging is fun no matter the time on one’s hands.., and email rules can also apply.

      Also, we are not speaking in hostile terms here but just re-defining modern tech use where the original intent has been distorted and misused.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. A lot of people text because they don’t want to bother talking. Or because they can’t HEAR anything on their really expensive telephone, which is pathetic. For that amount of money, you should be able to clearly hear a voice, whether it’s music or talking, whether you’re listening to an audiobook or a conversation.

          The other day, we needed to make arrangements to go to lunch with a friend. He’s still working and he is a free lancer and you know how their lives work: if they get a job, they do it because you never know when work will land in your lap (so to speak). We exchanged enough emails between him, Garry, and me to have sent a rocket to the moon and back — AND disembarked all the passengers. Finally, he gave up and called. Settled in about 2 minutes total. AMAZING how quickly you can do that kind of think when he says ‘I’ve got June 8th.” Open calendar. Look at it.

          “That works for us.”

          “Okay. 11 in the morning for brunch?”

          “Excellent.”

          “That new diner in Framingham?”

          “You betcha. Send me an address when you get a chance. I hope it’s as good as the reviews!”

          We said good bye. Instead of a dozen more emails — figure each one a day or so to respond — and voila. We have a date, a place and a time. We got the address, so now we are set. A lot of emailing is plain laziness. You don’t want to have to answer right NOW and email AND texts let you wait until you FEEL like answering. If, like us, you get an immense amount of email every day, one little email from the friend who wants to go to brunch will probably get lost and eventually deleted without ever being opened. I get more email than I EVER got snail mail and that was including when we got every advertisement ever printed.

          It isn’t faster. It’s much slower.

          I send long emails when there’s a lot of information (and links) to send or a long explanation involved. I’m not a phone chit-chatterer. Garry has long conversations with people via email, but he is DEAF. I mean profoundly deaf, so the phone for him is a major hassle. Maybe that will change after surgery, though I doubt it. Too many years battling with telephones through the decades. He just hates them.

          Speaking of which, the hospital never calls. They have an automated system with the LONGEST message on earth and no way to interrupt to talk to a human. Even should you actually GET a live person, that’s no guarantee anyone is LISTENING.

          I’m going to have to write about LISTENING as a concept. No one listens. Everyone has so much to say, they don’t notice if someone else is trying to respond. You need to actually PAUSE between sentences and wait for the other person to answer, assuming they know how to do that.

          The whole concept of speaking, listening, responding, etc? Kids really are forgetting how to talk to each other. If the only issues were setting appointments, it wouldn’t matter. That would just make their lives slower and klutzier — but they don’t talk. How are they going to figure out if they really LIKE each other? How do you build a life if you’ve never talked about life? I assumed that eventually, they’d get over the electronics and get on with relationships, but that’s not what I’m seeing. I find it worrying, especially since one of the people who have no conversational skills is my granddaughter.

          Liked by 1 person

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