The loneliness of the texting phenomenon.





There could not be a greater investment than holding shares in a phone and internet company. No matter where one travels or where one finds themselves, the intense look of people staring at their hand-held phones is everywhere. It surpasses all boundaries, nationalities and world’s oceans.  And all this hand-held staring is costing money which rolls into the lucky shareholders pockets. It would have to be a win-win for those canny enough to see the benefits of exploiting one of the most baffling kinds of human behaviour; all this staring and clicking away spending money all so pervasively and mainly in utter silence. Sometimes the hapless hand-held instrument holder speaks a few words into it, but most of it is done in lonely silence. Who would have thought this habit becoming an unstoppable world-wide obsession?  It is named ‘texting.’

Phone and internet companies are spending big on advertising with all sorts of tempting offers. “Unlimited data”, one company advertises with another company screaming free “12gegabites of free downloads.” The language is becoming so much enriched with so many new techno words that it must be a boon to the ambitious lexicographic expert.

Even TV crime movies now have to include endless scenes whereby the mobile cell phone almost plays as big a role as the main actor-criminals in mortal combat with those detecting sleuths whose job it is to decipher text messages implicated in all sorts of murders and late evening’s mayhem. Have you noticed that on the TV during a particular heinous crime scene,  a mobile phone goes off with a spine chilling ring tone that sends shivers across the room. The ring-tone itself has a most fearful and dire tone. Who designs all that stuff? Are they employing musical deviant composers? It doesn’t really go well with hoping to enjoy a good sleep afterward. One reason we watch less TV and spend more time on the divan just talking nonsense to each other.

Helvi asked me last night; ‘Did you notice that our Parisian daisy is now looking so wonderful?’ ‘Yes dear, and so are our Clivias, I answered. ‘Aren’t things getting dry though’ I said, followed by , ‘we need rain very badly.’ She followed this latest observation up by, ‘we should water the garden tomorrow, you do the front and I will do the back yard.’

Only yesterday I noticed that even when people are together they often avoid speaking to one another and are just staring at their texting equipment. It reminds me of the last time we were in Bali where a café invited customers by, “For those who don’t want to talk to each other we offer free Wi_Fi.”

It is a strange world out there.

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26 Responses to “The loneliness of the texting phenomenon.”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    My husband and I were just talking about this, trying to remember life before cell phones. It used to be people would drive all the time with no access to a phone. If we had car trouble, we had to either make it to the next gas station or hope someone (who wasn’t a serial killer) could stop and drive us to the nearest phone. Now we feel naked if we go anywhere without our phones, let alone in a car.

    That being said, I’m grateful for them. As an introvert who hates talking on the phone, texting is wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. leggypeggy Says:

    I barely use my mobile phone, but it is handy sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I now don’t take the mobile phone with me with great advantage because no one can phone or text me.

      Liked by 2 people

      • auntyuta Says:

        I am so old fashioned that I do not even own a mobile phone. Bad eyesight and not being able to hit the right buttons helped me so far to stay away from this marvellous gadget! 🙂
        But I have to admit that as a matter of fact I do sometimes depend on other people’s help. Usually Peter, my husband, helps out with some kind of texting when there’s no other way of communicating.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Helvi owns a mobile but only uses it to call her friends providing I call the number for her. She has never really acquainted herself with the technology, Uta. She is just not interested. So, you are not alone.

        She does write a lot using the computer, and is very good at getting her words across.

        Both our eyes sights are diminishing. She had the first of a cataract operation last week and sees much better with at least one eye. The other eye gets done in a couple of weeks.

        We are captive to a flurry of doctors and specialists appointments. There isn’t a great deal that we can do about ageing.

        The fridge magnets hold the appointment dates and do help reminding us of the next visit.


  3. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Yes, it baffles me to see people out to dinner with others and yet they are all staring at their phones! :-/ “Put your phones away, people, and talk to the people you are sitting with!” I’m glad to have my smarty-pants-phone and I love texting family and friends…but, I never have my phone out when I am talking to people face-to-face…the phone can wait.

    Great blog post, Gerard! 🙂

    Oh…and some people text important things to other people that they should be dealing with in person. Like, “Oh by the way, I’m breaking up with you.” What?! Oh my gosh!!!

    I hope you get some rain. We had a great rainy summer, but now things are dry so I have to water my plants and trees and flowers.


    Liked by 3 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Many young people also ‘download’ stuff. I asked my grandsons about ‘downloading’ but am often given esoteric answers. I am just not with it anymore.

      A rarefied group of people that don’t text or download are now emerging as a kind of reaction to all this cell-phone mania.

      Hugs too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. urbanliaisons Says:

    Sorry, but I could only read this now via cell-phone while I am just sitting somewhere outside enjoying the more cooler sunshine of early Autumn. I think this is quite practical even for people like me or you grown up in the analog world. But I know also very well, that only one real heavy sun-storm will bring us back to a real stone age. Nothing wishful indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, this sun-storm is looming. Just hope this is not going to be aided by bad politics opposing small countries also wanting to have their pyrotechnical bath-toys.

      Even so, there is something very fashionable walking around with threadbare torn jeans and a cell phone stuck in the back pocket.

      I remember the young walking around with a hand-held transistor radio listening to Carly Simon.
      You’re so Vain.

      It seems like yesterday!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. DisandDat Says:

    Yes I agree with most of the comments. It’s all so impersonal isn’t it. The other thing is that if I am not mistaken it makes me wonder why the Telstra share price has hardly moved up in decades !


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It has become part of our lives. I suppose I might well have uttered some sort of sentiments when the car took over from horse and buggy.
      Except, the texting now excludes contact with people. The car became a great socialiser. Look how many sit in buses and trains compared how many are involved in the texting…It seems such a lonely past-time.


  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    The Telstra shares have leapt to over $6.- only to come down when the Government’s NBN roll-out and payments to Telstra are ceasing. However, those that held Telstra shares enjoyed an annual dividend pay-our ratio of about 6% and more than 8% for those receiving franking credits as well as the dividends. (about 32C each year)


  7. petspeopleandlife Says:

    “For those who don’t want to talk to each other we offer free Wi_Fi.”

    Now that is funny and I have observed students walking to and from classes at our local 4 year university, Almost with out exception every last one is looking at their cell phone.

    We will soon be a world of folks that can not speak a word.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Of course, this blog is proof that the world of internet hasn’t passed me by either, Yvonne.

      However, in public I don’t take selfies standing in front of a horse monument or a park with flowers, nor do I text significant messages about the latest shopping expedition or the state of my bowels or sex-life.

      I simply don’t take the cell-phone with me. It’s great for social interaction with people who have also taken the plunge not to take a phone with them.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    If I could text you I would say “I laughed out loud.” How true this is. I might add that I do not text. I fail to see the benefit . It would take a whole new effort to learn, and take away my time watching “Midsomer Murders”, or trash talking Donald Trump. Strange that life should have fallen to such depths.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Always happy to get a laugh, Kayti.
      Yes, there are others who now follow the examples of ditching texting and take dry bread or other morsels, instead of a cell-phone.

      Only yesterday on our walk along the creek with Mr Milo, the Jack Terrier, a small group of mainly elderly people were laughing out loud too. They were seated on the wooden benches talking to the ducks who were happy to take the bits of dry bread that were sprinkled around the grassy slope leading to the water.

      It was such a happy scene, almost like something out of a Cezanne painting.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Big M Says:

    I often look around and wonder how much work is actually being done these days. People in shops and hospitals and everywhere else seem to have one, or both eyes, on the phone. How do they manage to do their jobs?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I suspect many don’t, Big M.
      We were in the emergency ward of the Bowral hospital and I could have sworn the man in the office behind the computer was checking real-estate.

      We waited three hours and the other only waiting patient finally left. I asked if it was alright for us to drink some water (after three hours) because a sign said that patients should not eat or drink while waiting to be assessed by a doctor. I also asked if an explanation could be given for the long wait.

      The man in the office looked up and gave us the ok to at least hydrate ourselves a little. Soon after the triage nurse popped up and said that there was a severe medical urgency happening and that the doctor was therefore unable to assist patients in the emergency department.

      I just wished they would have told us that after the first hour of waiting. We would have understood and gone elsewhere.


      • Big M Says:

        Gerard, there could be serious problems, like a property being passed in at auction, or people forgetting to ‘like’ someone else’s photos of babies or dogs. Serious psychological harm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Talk about ‘property being passed in’. Many did this week-end, the Sydney clearance rate was 67%!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        Bowral Emergency Department should be just starting to see an upsurge in pruning, hedging and leaf blower related incidents.

        I trust you were both OK?


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The pruning shears will create havoc, I am sure, Big M. There is no greater love for teaching camellias and azaleas bitter lessons by cutting them down, than here in Bowral.

        After the three hours wait at the hospital the doctor finally told us to get a referral from our own doctor.

        We should have gone to our own doctor in the first place had we known. Could the hospital doctor not have written a referral?


  10. shoreacres Says:

    There’s a new and quite funny sign at my pharmacy. It says, “We are here to assist people who have put away their phones.”

    I don’t text others. Part of the reason is that I prefer talking, and part of the reason is that I own an old Samsung flip phone that requires punching keys multiple times to select a letter. I will read the occasional text I receive, but family, friends, and customers all understand that if they text to me, they’ll get a phone call or email in response.

    The one exception I made was during Hurricane Harvey. My aunt was so concerned she was calling me every hour on the hour. Telling her I was fine did no good, because she was watching the worst of it on tv. So, I told her that a few times a day I’d text this message to her: “OK” That didn’t inconvenience me at all, and it stopped the phone calls.

    As for having phones seemingly surgically attached — I often leave mine in the car, or at home. Friends have learned that if they call a couple of times and don’t get me, it’s time to email. I’ll often see an email long before I check the phone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right, Linda. The mobile phone or the cell phone is just a phone, but for most it has become some kind of umbilical cord that function for doing just about everything and more.

      It gives warnings and alerts possible calamities in the making, one reason I do not carry a phone.

      I received one such call last night just before sleeping. Some dire message, I thought?
      No, it was a reminder Helvi’s cell-phone credit had fallen below $5.- She too has a phone that requires multiple buttons to text someone. She never texts anyone.

      Is ‘to text’ a new verb, I wonder?. What is the passed tense of texting? I ‘texted’ yesterday?


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