I was going to write a post about kaballa and gnosticism as pre-scientific models of the big bang and evolution, but check out how much I’m not doing that, now: 100%. That is how much I am not writing that post.
For various reasons, including, argh, first year religious studies was a long time ago and I’ve conflated a bunch of things which, if true, would make the post a lot easier to write, but they’re not true, which makes it much harder.
So, whatever. I will talk about telephones.
I fucking hate phones.
I have a weird relationship with things that annoy me – mostly, I can put up with things, as long as they’re not happening all the time. But if some critical threshold is reached, and breached, I lose the ability to deal with it at all, for some time, and have to take some time entirely away from that thing.
This is also how I am about people, but ‘annoy’ isn’t the right word there. I really like hanging out with people, and I miss seeing my friends on a regular basis, but occasionally it is too much and I need to hide away and not see anyone for some time. If I do see people during the hermit times, it kind of resets the hermit-time-clock, which is bad and inconvenient. So if I disappear for a month or three, that’s why. Don’t send search parties.
This is a problematic way to relate to people because I shut down any overtures towards doing stuff with people during these times. So people stop asking me to go to things. Then, later, when I am ok with people, again, I fail to call people and organise things and so I am a hermit again. Good times!
Anyway, so, I hate talking on the phone, but most of the time it is ok. I find it difficult to focus on what the person is saying, rather than, for instance, any text which might be in front of me (I can’t not read something if I am looking near it). I don’t like the real-time nature of the conversation, because small distractions can entirely derail it. Also, if you miss something, you can’t check what it was, like you could with, say, IM windows.
To counteract my tendency to pay attention to the visual world, not the audio one, I have to sit with my eyes closed if I am trying to talk to someone on the phone about anything important. This is occasionally impractical and sometimes a terrible idea.
Interestingly, I don’t really mind talking on the phone at work. I think it’s because, there, I’m expected to be looking at some other text, and there’s a different register and… various other things. but basically I can ask people to repeat things as often as I need to and they expect that.
This kind of makes me sound like I don’t hear things on the phone at all, which is not true. I am listening, really. But I’d probably rather IM you.
IM is a much less rich mode of conversation, so it’s kind of strange to prefer it, maybe? But it’s also a less invested mode of conversation. Pauses (most of the time) aren’t critical, and it’s ok if you’re reading other things at the same time (most of the time). Because the text is there, as an artifact, not as a memory trace, it is amenable to analysis in a different way. Positing readings of other people’s text helps me tremendously to maintain my not-craziness. Sometimes it’s difficult to get over a first impression, if something is phrased in a way which seems to imply something negative, but often the space afforded by IM allows you to re-assess something and not instantly get upset at the person, and cause trouble? Even though you lack communication cues like intonation and body language, you’ve got a better-developed set of tools for coping with language in text, I think.
Also, because it is a richer mode of communications, I think we think we can relate to it as though it was a face-to-face conversation, which is also fraught with danger. If you can’t see that I’m making a stupid face, you can’t really understand what I am saying (or, not as easily/in as much detail?). So telephones are kind of a crippled actual talk, rather than an enhanced text conversation? And text is text is text is how I like things?
There is: no point to this post, except maybe send me smses for a while because right now I can’t be having with telephones for whatever reason?
But also, we should do some things, guys, let’s go to a place or something, soon.