Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why the past is now present and the future is weird

Internet, I have a confession to make. Hi, my name is Rachel and I am a premature purger of cell phone contacts. Please tell me I'm not alone. 

While some people hoard their friends and acquaintances like so many dollars in Mark Zuckerberg's bank account, and keep years worth of penis pictures literally at their fingertips, I am very nearly the exact opposite. Namely, if I suspect I may never have cause to talk to a person again, I delete that person from my phone without a backwards glance. Zap, they're gone! (I like to keep things tidy.) Of course this, this can lead to awkward situations when you run into someone unexpectedly after not talking for a year or more, and they're like, "Call me!" and you're like, "No, call me!"

Or, like tonight, when I received a mystery text--"Hows dc?" (sic). The only clue was a Mythaca area code. Admittedly, I performed a pretty thorough contact list clean-up after my move, deleting anyone I suspected I would no longer talk to after I left Mythaca (which happened to be pretty much everyone I knew in Mythaca). I replied, "So far so good. How are you?" hoping the mystery texter's response would provide a clue. But no dice. "Im good im. glad your happu"  Hmm. So, this person was either drunk or really bad at texting. Now I was curious. "Hey, don't hate me cuz I got a new phone," I texted (lies), "but who are you?"

"Hajaj iys james." Oh. Because that clears things up. Sheesh.

"Phlegm?" I asked. (Not his real last name, but close enough, anyway.)

"What?" he asked. Ok, so not that James, then. Definitely for the best.

"Flay?" I tried again. 

"Ha yes." Jackpot. Good ole Jimmy James coming out of nowhere with the surprise text again.

"James Flay is my dentist," I responded (again, not his real last name, but true story. Not only am I destined to make the acquaintance of/spend multiple years of my life in a relationship with a more than coincidental number of James/Jims/Jimmys, but now apparently there aren't even enough last names to go around). "You're Jimmy," I kindly reminded him.

"Haha sorry jimmy," he responded.

No, I'm Rachel, I was tempted to respond, but didn't. (Punctuation is important, people!)

Apparently he had just texted to tell me he was glad I was happy, and to ask if I had met any tall, handsome men yet. ("All the time," I told him.) He joked about being "dust in the wind," (a relationship metaphor I am more than familiar with), I joked back about not snapping me up when he had the chance, and if there's a better way to put a quick stop to a casual text conversation, I don't know what it is. Try it sometime! 

So, to delete or not to delete, that is the question. Are you a hoarder or a purger? And does anyone remember the days when you would actually call someone on the phone when you wanted to talk to them, like, using your voice? Oh, hey, you know what would be great? Voice activated text messages! You just speak your message into your phone, and it translates it into a text message for you, so you can have an entire text conversation with someone by using your voice, but without the hassle of actually having to talk to each other! 

The future is weird. 


  1. I am a deleter. I like my phone tidy and if I don't think I'll talk to them - and it has happened many times, like you, that I have no idea who is texting. Sometimes I'll ignore them or wait until they give up their identity! lol

  2. I guess I'm an old fossil but I've never texted anyone. Don't
    have a cell phone. My kid is so ashamed. He's still trying to pull me into the 90s.

  3. I hate texting and talking on the phone. I would prefer to just meet face to face, or Skype. I guess I am a hoarder by default, because I am too lazy to delete contacts.

  4. I've never texted in my life. I've been texted, random They Might Be Giants lyrics, ONCE, by my sister, whom I yelled at for costing me 10 cents to try to have a lyrics contest with me on my emergency only cellphone.

  5. Hoarder. Like most other aspects of my life...

  6. oh I love the idea of voice activated texts! I HATE using the phone to call people...I'm more at ease on MSN or text messaging. I think the last person who heard my voice on the phone was the a-hole at Orange as I screamed "where the eff is my internet??? It's been 6 weeks!!!"

    I used to be a hoarder of cell numbers and past SMS messages, but not anymore. I find it more settling to purge and to focus only on the people/things that matter. This is why I've been cleaning up my Facebook "friend" list too. People who I haven't actually had an exchange with since high school (10+ years ago, GAH!) are getting defriended. So far, I don't miss any of them.

  7. Oh, since when did you start using comment approval? Is it to block spam or comments from douchebags?

  8. 1. I'm a purger.
    2. Yes, punctuation is REALLY important.

    I hope you're doing well.

  9. Hoarder. Mainly because I haven't owned a cell personally in over 10 years. I only have a business cell and never delete a business contact because you never know when they will be needed again. In this economy, and my bad habit of eliminating my job after a few years, hoarding contacts can be beneficial.

    There are apps out there that convert voice to text messages. They are helpful when driving in provinces/states that have banned the usage of hand held devices. Some work well, some not so much.

    We hardly ever use the phone anymore. Texts and Skype are what we use a lot these days.

  10. Wow, that is actually impressive! I am way too lazy to go through my phone and delete people - unless it is possible I may drunk dial them and embarrass myself.

    Although, it takes me years to forget a phone number so usually I can still drunk dial anyway :(

  11. Ha..Well you know what I am! Not only am a hoarder...I will also put clues on their name to help me remember. Mary J? That is Jason, who also happens to love Marijuana, which is why we shouldn't go out anymore...but I need to keep his name in my phone so I know not to go out with him.

    Oh my goodness. Thinking about this is giving me an idea for a blog. ha!

  12. I keep pretty much all numbers for long past their expiration dates. At the same time, I also keep what I call negative numbers- numbers kept in the phone so I don't inadvertantly answer a call from that person. If I deleted someone I don't want to talk to , then at some point a vaguely familiar number might come up, I might answer, and yuck.

  13. I delete people pretty regularly, except for the ones I think might be likely to surprise/drunk text. Clears things up.

    I dictate my text messages now using Siri. It manages to strike a perfect balance between creepy and easy.