As I was walking to work one morning on a busy sidewalk in DC, a man drove by, steering his car with his wrists as he maneuvered his thumbs to send what was either a text message or an email. Whatever it was I’m assuming it was “important,” which is in quotes because it’s the kind of important that people around here say with deadly seriousness. They don’t remember that there’s an entirely more serious level of deadly seriousness—as in, the kind of deadly seriousness one would invoke if they and, say, 15 other people walking to work were run over by someone steering with his wrists as he attempted to communicate via text.
He could just talk into the damn thing.
I don’t text while driving mostly because I don’t have a car, but also because I have enough trouble texting while sitting still. My phone, allegedly “smart,” seems to think it knows what I’m trying to write. I know how people trust the red squiggly line in a Word document (or worse, the green grammar squiggle) over their own judgment, but what bothers me much more about the autocorrect on my phone is just how annoyingly wrong it can be. I have this immense fear that we as a society will begin to acquiesce to this, thinking the smartphone is helpful and right. “Stop” becomes “Superman” and “hello” becomes “agoraphobia.” So if you’re texting your husband that you’ll pick up a loaf of bread on the way home and the next thing you know you’ve wrapped yourself around a tree, your last words might be “ink masking home soup &”. Instead of hearing your voice one last time, your husband doesn’t even get your words.
If our phones are going to kill us, they should have the decency to leave our words intact.