Friday, December 02, 2005

The silence of the phone

I never realized how important my cellphone have become. A long long time ago, I was one of those who owned a cellphone when it was still 'hip" to own one. It was then a kind of a status symbol, and it was only Globe that had the short message service (it's the correct name of what we know as text messaging). There was also no limit then to the text messages you can send as long as your balance is at least 50 pesos, you can just text all you want. And then came the cellphone rush until finally everyone has it. Now it becomes some sort of a necessity. When one meets another person it is always assumed that he or she has a phone, back then I have to say that I had a phone where they can call me anytime. I realized now that back then it was very simple to meet people. You agree to meet at 8 o'clock and then you meet each other at 8 o'clock, now when you agree to meet at a certain time, early in the morning you will receive a text message reminding you of your meeting. About an hour before you are to meet, you will again receive a text message reminding you of your meeting in ano hour. Thirty to Fifteen minutes before the time, you again receive a text message saying "san ka na?" About five minutes before your meeting, you receive another text message saying "sorry, I got caught in traffic, hintay ka lang sandali." Finally about 30 minutes after your agreed time, you meet and you felt that it was alright because at least you were updated about his or her whereabouts. The fact that the person was late will never be discussed and life goes on.
Before, I use to receive lots and lots of letters from people all over. I received some from my mother who was in the States then, from my father who was somewhere around the country, a girl that I was once madly in love with, some friends from another island and the list goes on. Now, there's only one person who writes me letters and all because we understood the "personalizeness" of letters through the postal system. In the early days of text messaging, I decided that I will be unique, when I first had a cell phone, I told myself that I will always text in straight sentences and correct spelling and grammar. Back then I felt it was to be unique, later on I realized that I may just be the only one doing it. I understood why some of the children now have difficulty learning spelling. Above all, I understood why people have come to neglect the beauty of human emotion, of sincerity and respect to other people. Picture this, nowadays, the phone has become too impersonal that we even bother get in touch with people we do not really know. We do not care about who they really are, we do not care a thing, what matters is we enjoy what we are doing. Men who court women, no longer think of bright ideas to impress the girl instead, he looks for the best quotes and sends her text messages every now and then to ask if she has eaten, if she's all right, what she is doing and all this sort of thing. The saddest thing is that women fall for this. And then there is this I love you mwah mwah, that is saved in one of the templates in the phone that the a person sends to his or her loved one just in case he feels like saying it. Gone were the lines of pure poetry, lines that came directly from the heart whispered into the ear of a beautiful princess while you held her tight in your arms wishing that it would last forever. Today, people will admit to really knowing a person by mere exchange of text messages, sometimes even saying that they have fallen in love. Sadder still is the fact that they are so carried away by that set-up that they liken it to classic fairy tales that we have learned to love. My goodness, what is happening to the world? First and foremost, before prince charming was able to kiss sleeping beauty he had to fight the wicked witch. Before the prince found snow white he had to fight dragons. Before Alladin found Jasmine, he had to do something extraordinary like beating Jafaar. Now, its as simple as borrowing words and sending it for one peso per message. I realized that there are just things that were lost, things that I hope could be found again.
Every now and then, I feel bad over the silence of my phone. At this moment, I feel sorry for myself because not one of my friends bothered to even text me a simple good morning or good afternoon. I feel bad because I know I have so much to say to a person, about how I truly feel, about how much I cared for them, about how I appreciate the fact that they are part of my life, but then the phone is not just the thing to express this things. The phone is a tool that has made communication simpler but it is never able to evoke the bounty that can only be found in a genuine person. I like to say I love you to people, telling them that life was different when I met them, but noone seems to listen nowadays, all they hear are the beeps of their phones and yet they wonder why their life is so miserable. Well, sometimes try listening to the silence of the phone perhaps deep inside, you'll hear your heart beating, beating according to what is really important in this world.

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