On Sunday morning, I woke up to find the little red light on my phone blinking, alerting me that I had received a text message. When I opened the message, I was informed that my IQ score was awaiting me! All I had to do was text a certain number and it would be sent to me. Random and weird, but I didn’t give it too much thought.
Since that text, there have been others. A note for Jimmy that he can improve his life by going back to school; an offer to loan me money to buy a car. Nothing too terribly annoying, maybe one or two texts a day, and since I have unlimited texts it’s not like I’m paying anything for them. My biggest problem with this spamming is the disappointment I face when I realize that the all too familiar buzzing of my phone wasn’t someone checking in, inviting me to go out, sharing exciting news, or just letting me know they were thinking about me; it was just a computer trying to sell me something. I don’t get a lot of phone calls or texts, mostly because I have made known my aversions to using the telephone as a means for communication, so when my phone vibrates it still feels somewhat special. That little red light is my portal to the outside world, and it hurts to see it spoilt by cheap spam.
It’s not just the red light either. That lovely ding that my MacBook makes when I get an email has gone from giving me slight butterflies of excitement (“Who’s emailing me now?”) to a feeling more akin to indigestion (“I wonder what stupid mailing list that was.”). All day long my inbox is bombarded by sale ads, concert announcements, coupons, weight loss tips. The worst part is I have a REALLY good spam filter, so the true junk never really even gets through! How I wish that every little ding would be an indicator of a true email from a friend, an Etsy sale, a notification that someone wrote on my Facebook wall or left a comment on my blog. I love, love, love seeing that someone left a comment on here, or on a photo on my Flickr page. Seriously, the highlight of my day.
So where am I going with this little rant. I guess nowhere, really. I’ve just been thinking a lot today about this blog, my business, and the fine line between true marketing and spam. I love writing this blog and I would keep doing it even if no one ever read it., but sometimes I wonder if my real voice is coming through here. I used to write and post things on another little blog, things far more serious, analytical, spiritual, insightful. I loved writing then, but slowly the words just left me. About the same time, by no coincidence, I felt the words leaving me in real life too. I noticed that I was quieter but less introspective. I had a hard time expressing my thoughts to my friends. Sometimes I noticed I would go days without really saying anything real. I was still living my life, I wasn’t super depressed or anything, I was just, well, quite.
It’s easy to let quiet morph into a superficial dialogue with the world. I think the hardest part of these Remix Challenges is sharing my outfit posts each day. Some days, I don’t want to write about my day. I don’t want to talk about a dress or shoes. Some days, I don’t really have anything to say and I just want to be quiet and let the outfit speak for itself. My fear has always been that if you talk too much, people will stop listening to you and I guess this is true if you don’t really have anything much to say in the first place.
These are just thoughts, rambling actually, but maybe if enough of us fight the noise we can create a space for silence. Then our red lights and dings will have meaning again. So how writing an email to a friend today? A real email, not just a tweet or a post on their wall. Even better, send them a cute postcard in the mail. Call someone that you haven’t heard from in a while, just to see how they are doing. Invite a coworker out for dinner after work and then try to get to know them as more than just the girl in the next cubicle. As for me, I’m having dinner with a good friend tonight. That’s the best kind of quiet in my book.