Tuesday, July 03, 2007
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY FACET OF SHORT MESSAGE SYSTEM
I consider myself thrifty. In fact I had once blogged an entry and self-proclaimed myself as a cheapskate. Thus when it comes to communication using hand-phones I minimize my phone bills by only sending sms where feasible. Phone calls are only for urgent matters that need immediate attention or when there's a sudden dire need to hear the voices of your loved ones. No, I am not someone who would make long idle chit-chat calls and I loathe those who do so!
Sms is a relative new trend of making communication, so much so, many of the older generation like my parents have difficulties in utilizing it. My chic mom however has recently mastered its usage and has proudly displayed her prowess by sending me sms-es with the latest sms lingo, courtesy of my youngest sister whom with cute ingenuity had made a flow chart on each steps of making a text message on my mom's mobile! Till today, my mom religiously follow the chart, lest she'll send me blank messages!
Sms lingo nowadays have carved a language of its own. Spellings are stringently shortened, leaving out vowels where possible, barely making out the real meaning of the word. The savvy and seasoned youngsters nowadays employ this 'distorted' language without qualms. They tap on the keypad with both fingers, even faster than a veteran typist. Some have even acquired the art of typing texts without looking at the keypad, using one hand, whilst driving! Such audacity!
As for me, I sometimes still find it hard to comprehend some messages. For instance today I texted a message to dear hubby complaining about somebody's lackadaisical attitude and he replied with a sentence that began with, "hmm.." . Now, how should I interpret the 'hmm'? Is it 'hmm with a ? and rising pitch that translates: "well, that's trivial. Why are you so upset?" Or is it a long 'hmm' that sounds like a sigh that reads: "well, what do you expect? Isn't that normal of him?"
"Entah la" and "Entah ler" carry two different connotations even though essentially they are the same. "Entah la' is sounded short and crisp and it represents a sincere confession of not knowing something. Whilst "entah ler" is phonated in a lax attitude, laden with skeptical insinuation, meaning that the person actually has knowledge of the matter but is simply exasperated to blurt it out. So, do mind your 'la' and 'ler' the next time you text!
I have a hunch that sms was invented for the cowards due to several reasons. If you can't fulfill an appointment you can simply sms and avoid the embarrassment of being a spoil sport. Making complains are much easier through sms as your grouses get across without having to unpleasantly confront and verbalize them. The setback is that the 'defendant' might just deny having received any message. To carry this cowardice sms act to the hilt is to actually divorce your wife via text messages! How can a man even consider himself being a man when he conveniently choses to end his marriage just by tapping his phone!
Despite it's abundant benefits, sms is not without its downside. Due to its widespread availability and low fees, sick people are quick to manipulate and abuse the whole system. Reality shows have and will continue to make billions merely on sms votes. Millions of people are willing to waste their money to make sure their idols win a contest.
Apart from that, sms has also reared its ugly head in the form of spreading malicious lies and creating unease amongst the people. An example is the case where an sms was passed around calling all to an alleged church gathering lead by a muslim apostate. On a personal ground, I was confided by a male patient who claimed that his wife had a torrid 'sms affair' with another man! Blimey!
In truth, all kinds of technical communications are necessary and useful. They make our life better and as communication is just a tap of the keys away, family relationship is uniquely enforced as compared to generations of yesteryears. However when greed and lust overcome, then the whole system evolves into something sinister, wild and unruly. Apparently, the human race never learn its lesson.....as long as they make the devil their advocate, that is!