The decline of society as we know it

Think back to the days when things were easier – a simpler time devoid of excessive drama and/or responsibility. No, I’m not referring to the days when your grandparents walked TEN MILES in a blizzard to get to work, nor even the era when girls were not just chaste, but accordingly chased, based on that very virtue. This utopia to which I’m referring takes us back not decades, but mere years.

Let me elaborate. The history of global communication is vast; so thorough, in fact, that there are even specific graduate school programs dedicated entirely to the subject. (See: Communication, Culture & Technology, the program that I attended that allowed me to accrue my monthly student loan payments). Historically, people have been initially wary of any new medium of communication, and though the pace of acceptance has exponentially increased, there is always a lag time, an inherent backlash (or at least hesitation) prior to widespread acceptance. The transition from radio to television is a prime example; society not only discounted, if not feared, the “newfangled” mechanism of communication. And then, upon witnessing its utility, they accepted it, and television became the preferred medium. Expand this to include the internet, then blogging, and even today, when instant communication (think Twitter, Pownce, even Lifecasting) makes our minutia a public phenomenon and fosters a society of instant gratification. As it stands, people have become accustomed to the rapidly increasing pace of change and the associated ramifications that this brings to their lifestyle.

Let’s discuss these very ramifications and the serious issues that face society today: namely, why drunk dialing is far superior to drunk texting. To note:

POSIT: Drunk dialing offers less risk of rejection and accountability
•    Inebriation.
•    [Possible] boredom.
•    [Likely] lusting/horniness/loneliness.
Additional Considerations:
•    Proximity (same town, or transportationally desirable).
•    Probability of culmination of intentions greater than 50%.
•    Possible lack of sufficient nourishment prior to the consumption of alcohol and/or excessive alcohol consumption causing behavior liken to the worst trite media example of a drunk person on a sitcom.
Often, all of the above.

Argument One:
When one drunk dials their “intendee” under “normal” criteria of inebriation (when judgment is slightly impaired but memory remains intact), there lies the appropriate response to a no-answer situation. The preferable method, of course, is to hang up prior to leaving a message, proceed directly to the nearest kitchen/diner/donut shop (Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Pass your Ex’s House), consume sleep-inducing food and retire for the evening.
Impact: Very little, save for a killer case of heartburn the next day.
Proper Protocol: Should the topic of the late-night call ever arise, the explanation of “pocket/purse” dialing is sufficient. Since there was no message, there was no record of true intention (minus the embarrassment you can choose to block out).

Argument Two: When one drunk texts, the “no answer” response is inherently removed due to the medium. Whereas drunk dialing offers the potential for the “two-way discourse” (and if not, the excuse for the initiation), texting, by nature, is a response-necessary method of communication. Thus, once initiated, there is no contingency plan in the form of  thinly veiled excuses.
Impact: Substantial. Not only is the “pocket/purse dialing” excuse removed from the equation (when’s the last time YOUR Kate Spade decided to ask the object of your drunken affection if they wanted company at 3am?) but the record remains not only for the other party (who may have received the message upon his/her sober awakening the next morning) but also remains for the sender to heighten the associated mortification many times over. To note – saying that someone “stole your phone” is NOT a laudable explanation. So I’ve heard.
Proper Protocol: Hide in bed all day. All week. Hell, a year or two should mitigate the mortification.

As this example clearly demonstrates, our society has progressed so quickly that it has affected even the most cherished of traditions; namely, the booty call, or at least its delivery. While forward progress is always encouraged, it is highly recommended that scenarios such as these be considered as we become accustomed to – and eventually accepting of – the technological progress that continues to evolve. Because, I for one, hope our children can grow up in a society where notes are still passed in classrooms, rocks are still thrown up at potential suitors’ windows, and – for heaven’s sake – booty calls still incorporate audible slurring. Anything less would be a tragedy to romance itself.

One thought on “The decline of society as we know it

  1. Excellent points all!
    May I add that drunk IMing with a prospective booty call might also not be the wisest of ideas? Although you know they’re actually receiving your message right now, unlike with drunk texting, it also leaves a potentially uncomfortable record for both parties.
    It might be better to use the IM status as a sign they’re awake and commence drunk dialing, for all the reasons you mentioned. If, that is, you must contact them at all and can’t convince yourself to do something else until the urge passes…
    On the flip side, getting drunk could be used as a method to distract oneself from the sober urge to contact the ex. But I wonder what the probability is of such efforts resulting in the scenarios already described?

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