A man was shouting on his cell phone this morning when this thought struck me. (It's in packed trains I get inspiration to write my blogs.) How has cell phones, the SMS changed our lives, the way we talk and behave.
Well, er, for example, the way young people write has changed irrevocably. Or, so it seems. "Whr r u," seems standard for "Where are you?" "Wat r u dng" is now standard for, you know what. A whole generation has changed their outlook and their way of communicating. It's us old fogeys who stick to grammar and old-world charm of full words. Not SMSese. Poetry in SMS has been attempted by Caferati. I was shortlisted, didn't win. SMS stories have been attempted by Caferati. Again, didn't win. So there.
More interesting is the way it has changed conversations. Invariably, we shout these days. And there aren't niceties such as:
"Good morning, may I speak to Mr. Matthew," has been replaced by:
"Mr. John I am calling from BCICICI bank we give personal loans at affordable rates our rate for 1 lakh is 12 per cent only Mr. John, you just have to sign a form, Mr. John, our executive will visit your home or office Mr. John do you want to sign Mr. John?"
Ugggpffffffff!!!!! I can hear him/her exhale stale breath.
I have given spaces between words because I am more generous but there aren't any pauses, breaths, or full stops. He/she wasn't talking he/she was singing. We talk/sing without stop. Mark Tully (the BBC's India correspondent) is right. We don't use full stops in India. Why waste time?
On the other hand we use the cell phone in a mercenary way if we are in love or we miss someone deeply. There are men/women so much glued to their mobile phones that they don't see where they are going. You can see them walking distractedly in train stations, on streets, in airport waiting areas.It's not until they collide against the pillars and outcroppings around them that they realise that their sweet love isn't near them but far, far away.
So, that it for now. Has the phone changed the way you communicate? Let me know.