I remember the day quite well despite the years that have passed. I was in second grade at the Barret Elementary School in PA. It was a crisp September afternoon. The sun shown brightly in the sky and lit the gold, and orange trees that lines the school yard with a mystic glow. I was near the geodesic dome thing, by the monkey bars, Danny to my left and across from me stood Gabe Green. He was a stout fellow. Small in stature, but bubbling over with energy. He stood across from me, with his hand hanging out in the air, and a playfully confused look on his face.
“Really man, don’t leave me hangin'”
and although I was probably pretty “quick” for my age, it took me a second to realize that what he was referring to was his out stretched, “high five” hand. I reciprocated the gesture, by slapping down on his hand, hard enough to let him know that I wasn’t going to be pushed around as the new kid, but not so hard as to hurt or intimidate him.
I hadn’t really given that afternoon much thought ever again, but recently it came back to me in a context, that really hadn’t make sense, until now. While I hesitated on the playground, trying to determine the intentions of this out-stretched hand, and odd saying; It wasn’t that I didn’t want to give him a high five, it’s that I hadn’t yet learned the proper response.
I had learned to say “thank you”, when something was given to me; I had learned to say “please”, when there was something I wanted; I had learned to say “good-bye”, when leaving somewhere, or hanging up the phone, but I hadn’t learned that the hand of friendship, was expected to be answered in a slap.
I know all of these things now.
However, I think that there are manners for the 21st century that people are still learning; which brings me to my point. I like to text/IM, it doesn’t consume my life or anything, and I have never gotten one of those $1000 phone bills, but every month, I come pretty close to using my alloted texts, and I do partake in a couple of good IM conversations everyday. It’s a convenient way to talk to someone with out the burden of a phone plastered to your ear. A neat-o way to send little thought, idea, or message to someone. That being said, when you enter into a more conversational mode of IM/texting you have not rid yourself of common consideration. What I mean to say is, if you know that you have been texting/IMing someone back a forth a few times, you still have the obligation to conclude the conversation just as you would any other. Just like being on the phone, or in someones living room, after a certain point you don’t just abandon the person on the other end. You don’t just hang up the phone, not so much as a “talk to you later”, do you? (PS. If you are one of those people that doesn’t even say “good-bye” on the phone, I already don’t know what to do with you …). Therefore, I think it is important to remember your manners, even in the midst of all of these new communication methods.
Thank you for reading.
Talk to you later.
… and please, by all means, don’t leave me hangin’
Love All. -D 😉