When he took a whole day to respond to a text, I thought, , and made a point to let his last text message dangle there, suspended in the no-response void, the way mine had.Later on, a mutual friend of ours would mention to him that I was bummed out by how abruptly things had ended.
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More often, he is morbidly impressed at how long a conversation can burble on, one-sided, after he has texted me “good night.” And sometimes, when the tone of a text conversation reaches a particular level of indignation, he gently tells me we should switch to a phone call so no one gets misunderstood. Our wildly contrasting sleep schedules, for example, are one point in favor of silent, respond-at-your-own-pace communication, while the long-distance relationship we share across two non-adjacent boroughs of New York City make phone calls indispensable when it comes to matters of logistics. I’m here but it’s crowded, let’s meet somewhere else” is a more efficient conversation when it doesn’t have to be punched in one letter at a time.
And the longer we stay together, strangely enough, the more I find myself inclined to just call when I want to talk to people I care about.
Even stranger, I’m discovering that those times when my voice is unsteady or my words aren’t materializing are the times when I should pick up the phone, not shy away from it.
I’ve spent a lot of years being afraid of what would happen if someone could tell I was fumbling for what to say, or if I accidentally revealed exactly what was on my mind.
Phone calls, for me, are scheduled events between business associates or people who need to have a Serious Conversation of some sort.
For him, they are what instinctively happens when he has a question, when he has a funny story, when he wants to make plans.But when I took the hint and stopped texting, he noticed and did the same.Maybe, in the end, this is all just a story of a miscommunication and two people too easily spooked. “You stopped Over the following months, we would have this exchange many more times, sometimes in a playful tone and sometimes not.But crucially, we stand on opposite sides of the dividing line between what Jesse Singal diagnosed last year as “Old Millennials” and “Younger Millennials.” “For us Old Millennials, the social aspects of our middle- and high-school years were lived mostly offline,” Singal wrote.As I grew up, AIM was replaced by texting, but typed-out messages remained my preferred mode of communicating with people I liked and people I dated.