E-nough Is E-nough

With bad manners just a 'send' button away, we need some rules. Call it technetiquette.

I propose we use mass forwards for emergencies only. "Thought you guys might appreciate this: The building's on fire." Now that's a quality forward.

3. Text messaging Let's go ahead and apply some basic parameters here. More than any other communication advance, this one's fucking up our relationships. Let's say a text message counts for three-fourths of a phone call. Contact was attempted, and according to the open-envelope icon, achieved. But it's so lame, firing this brief caveperson-speak into the nightlife abyss. Guys: Nary a full-grown woman is wooed by passing notes. This all seems a lot like fifth grade, but it's actually not. I know, I often have trouble with the concept myself. People are getting addicted to texting, even as an alternative to the drunk dial. That's always fun: slurring your semicolons. Between e-mail and texting we can go for weeks without ever really speaking to each other.

illustration: Shane Harrison

We must be stopped. Even text messaging is developing gradations. It takes a long friggin' time pressing the 1 button to get an apostrophe, doesn't it? I know it, you know it, and that guy you're after knows it. Keep it simple, skip the conjunctions and the run-on sentences and remember that texting is more closely related to phoning than e-mailing. At 10 cents a pop and requiring a trying amount of thumb dexterity, a three-fourths phone call means that I shouldn't have to write you back right away, either.

4. The camera phone Not everything that's good enough for Gawker is good enough for you. A few nights ago, I went to a party sponsored by a cell phone company. As I walked inside, a sales rep in a suit pulled my arm and insisted on taking my picture with his phone. I made a move to step inside but couldn't break away from his cheery promotional sales pitch and phone-shaped cuff links. A determined bad-toucher, he pulled at my arm a second time. I didn't know quite where to look, or what I would look like if a flash went off. I refused to let him take my picture, moving my bag to block my face. He grew increasingly annoying, thinking this was some kind of a game. "It's just a picture. Why not?" I told him the phone would steal my soul and ran inside.

As I made my way through the crowd of text messagers and mobile jockeys, I couldn't help but notice I was dramatically overdressed for the occasion. My denim-clad friend shook his head and gestured at the human sequin that was me.

"The Evite said casual."

Sloane Crosley's last Essay was on the ass.

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