Textual Frustration

25 Jan

Last night I sent a detailed text message at 2:30 am specifying the exact reason why I was awake at such an ungodly hour on a weeknight.  It read something like this:

Me: I hate leaving my phone plugged in all night so I rolled over, semi-woke up when my headboard creaked, unplugged my phone, saw text messages and replied… Very exciting night I’ve had! 😉

The person I had been texting replied asking why my evening was so exciting.

Unfortunately, sarcasm doesn’t translate well via text. 

With the sheer ambiguity of the written word (made worse by character limits and messaging rates), it’s a wonder why we even bother to use that method of communication.  How many arguments have started because of certain terms of endearment used in jest?  How many sleepless nights have we endured because of a lack of response?  How many uncertainties were riled because of a lack of exclamation marks, colons, hyphens and parentheses : – ) ?  But, more importantly, how much of my witty, sarcastic humor has been lost in translation?

As writers (or avid texters) it is our job to effectively communicate settings, characters and emotions to our readers—or is it?  Should we be held accountable for our ability to bridge the communication gap with words on pages/screens?  How much responsibility falls on the reader to decipher what we were originally trying to communicate?  The way we perceive and relate information is inherent to each individual; will anyone ever truly understand what we’re trying to say?  Does any of it even matter? 

Personally, I’ve chosen to consider ambiguity as an obstacle to overcome… and if that doesn’t work then maybe I will just give up.  (<–sarcasm)

-Jenny!!!! : – ) : – )

Remember the next chapter of Mirrors at Barnard Hall comes out in 2 days!  Need to catch up?  Click HERE


One Response to “Textual Frustration”

  1. Michael January 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    even complete sentences don’t translate well to text, really…I don’t text overmuch myself. oh the perils of the modern age!

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