Looking longingly at my handheld device, I wait patiently. But I am losing patience. All I can see are the little flashing dots on the left side of my iMessage screen. Sadly, as Phil Collins once sang, “There’s no reply at all; no reply at all.” I am left with my imagination. I blame the WiFi but it could be something more sinister.
After a few seconds, although it seems longer, a text response may appear. Or not. What if the respondent changed their mind and stopped responding to choose different words? I might have been watching premature dots, a complete waste of time. So I have to start making assumptions. “What are they thinking now? What was the original thought that was changed? WHY IS THIS TAKING SO DAMN LONG???” Dot dot dot. Maybe they are mad at me.
Unless Apple is developing the technological equivalent of the Vulcan mind meld, this is the world in which I must survive. We all live together in Dot Interpretation and Dot Misinterpretation Land, a daily Rorschach test that I am failing. “Look into the dots and tell me what you see or imagine you may read.” If I stare at the dots more deeply, will the message appear faster, much like hitting the elevator button helps the elevator arrive faster (this works, by the way – ask any 5 year old)? How does the waiting make you feel?
Rational people can exercise patience and delay gratification the literal seconds that it usually takes for the written response to appear and answer whatever the question may be, from the mundane “What’s for dinner?’ to the intense “Did you pick up dinner?” Finally words to read! Irrational dot analysis and the accompanying mental psychosis can stop. I have words in a common language to help explain, give context, and establish connection with the sender. I breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you, mobile service provider.
And now that I have words, I enter Phase II: What do the words really mean? I receive no facial expressions, tonal changes in voice, no body language clues. Ugh. Maybe I’ll stick with reading the proverbial dot tea leaves and create my own answers to my own texted questions. It would save time. And I could handle my own dinner, like a grown up. Whatever, I’ll just call and ask. Try it sometime dot dot dot.