It’s a classic action movie cliche story line…the buildings are burning down, missiles exploding in the distance, and the screams of women and children are deafening. The entire platoon sits and watches as their base is invaded by the enemy, immobilized by fear and crippled by nerves. The men one by one use their better judgement to stay put as any efforts to save the day would prove to be futile. All of a sudden, the youngest and least experienced soldier springs to action charging the base rambo style guns blazing and all. As he leaves the safety of the foxhole the screams of his comrades grow faint as they urge the young bull…..”DONT BE A HERO!”
Hopefully my little attention grabber isn’t too far fetched to draw away from todays opinionated rant. Honestly I didn’t even have a particular movie in mind there (Blackhawk Down or American Sniper maybe) but lets just take that last line and work with that. DONT BE A HERO! If this were a real war story the fate of our young soldier would probably be bleak…running into the crossfire when the wiser men already know the importance of picking their battles. Thankfully I’m not going to go on to talk about ISIS or any other political warfare our country is engulfed in..let the republicans squawk about that. There is a war that hits a little closer to home for me though and thats the millennials battle with technology and its proper place in our lives. Clearly the world runs on wifi these days, I don’t need to tell you that. Did you know the average person unlocks their phone 120 times daily? I also happen to know that anyone reading this isn’t the average phone checker, nah, you guys are addicts. Your instagrams, snapchats, and twitter accounts are digital crack. This war of attrition isn’t communicated in bodies its represented in data usage. And the enemy isn’t the Vietcong, its the mobile providers and our fathers who pay the bill. Thou can giveth and thou can taketh away!
The one thing that can’t be argued in terms of the tech uprising is that it is only becoming more omnipresent. Unless youre Zuckerberg or Jobs, your place in the revolution is that of the masses and if you have an opinion strong enough on the matter, I urge you to not be a hero and rather pick your battles wisely. In particular I want to rap a bit about read receipts. You know how some people have “read” vs. “delivered” when you shoot them a text? Yeah thats a setting and it isn’t the default one that comes with the phone. Well, I’d like to take that group of people and place them in the foxhole with the rest of the troops. This holier-than-now minority segment are the young and naive soldier willing to risk it all for the glory of battle…well people…turn off your read receipts…DONT BE A HERO!
This may sound counter intuitive at first…how does becoming LESS transparent help us in this age of data consumption and dwindling social skills? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Read receipts off read receipts on, fugaizzi fugazzi, potatoes tomatoes. The average person unlocks their phone 120 times a day! You are not the average phone checker! You read your texts within nano seconds! The text from your friend to go to the gym isn’t falling on silent ears…he just ripped shoulders without you! The girl you’re trying to take to dinner wasn’t on a juice cleanse that forbids her from texting back. The kid who owes you money? Yea he wasn’t on conference calls all day so he never got a chance to answer! Fuck you guys…or as DJ Khaled would say, “congratulations, you played yourself.”
Having these read receipts on doesn’t buy you the benefit of the doubt that you probably think it does. The people who leave that Apple setting on certainly aren’t leading the renaissance against digital communications. It’s the world we live in and its the world you simply can not get out of. So yes, I guess you have the confidence level to show someone that you have read their message…but its really an unnecessary act. You read it. You read it before I even sent it fucker.
The way we talk to each other is incredibly different now than it was 5 years ago and I can only imagine where we will be 5 years down the road. This is new to everyone and its tough to speculate what the end game will be. I actually got a nice little reality check last week just to elude to the deception that comes with the way we talk. I’ve been actively applying to jobs lately and one of them is a start up company. I was going back and forth on email with “Judy the Secretary” trying to set up a date for a meeting over the span of about 3 weeks. We really built up some rapport especially since it was during the holiday season so I was always keen to wish her a merry christmas and a happy new year and even throw in a quick joke where I saw fit. A few days ago I met with the founder of the company and on my way out I asked to meet Judy, the women I’ve been working with to make this all happen. “Hahahaha sorry to break this to ya kid, but Judys a robot. Yeah we use this A.I. company that serves as a digital secretary…saves us a boatload.” Are you fucking kidding me? Well shit did I feel dumb, I thought Judy was a great! I even thought she was flirting with me so I was honestly hoping for some double D’s in the front office.
If a robot could be perceived as human I don’t think were so far off from the opposite happening soon. We hide behind the screens and utilize the lag time between messages to our advantage way way too much. In the real world or at least with real world relationships your responses will have to be immediate. You’re not going to be able to ask your friend for advice on what to say next and you’re not making yourself seem “realer” by showing the person that you actually read their message. If anything you’re doing yourself a disservice. The busy signal comprises your innocence and alibis. The read receipt is just your last ditch effort to communicate some form of authenticity for yourself. Well I for one see right through that garbage…your phone is in your hand and you read what I wrote. We don’t need a receipt to tell us that am I right? So if this is your way of defying the system, chose a better way to fight this battle. Pick a different route please. Save your data for tomorrow…you’re gonna need it trust me!