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A Summer ‘Inconvenience': Staying in Touch

A Summer ‘Inconvenience': Staying in Touch

I’m going to devote this entire first paragraph to one thing only: TGIF. Yes, that’s right: Thank God It’s Finally summer. After nine arduous months during which you spent countless hours wasting your life and learning useless things, such as the meaning of arduous, it is summer vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, that’s probably (!!!!!!!!!!) enough exclamation marks; if you’re like me, you really hate (!!!!) it when someone texts “no way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how??????????????”. I mean, honestly, what are you supposed to reply with? “I dunno,,,,, c ya tomoro……….” doesn’t really seem all that emotional.

Putting all that aside (for later, of course, because now that it is summer you have lots of time for useless musings, such as why the ceiling of your house has this weird pattern that sort of looks like Johnny Depp climbing a rhinoceros, and if it was intentional or if it just dried that way), there is one minor inconvenience* at hand. How are you going to stay in touch with your in-person friends over the summer?

*no, not a “problem.” An inconvenience. There are no problems allowed during summer.

Now, in-person friends are friends whom you could recognize if you saw them in a police line up. They should be distinguished from Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Email marketers trying to sell you prescription medication for problems that you’ve never even heard of. Those people are considered friends only in the literal sense. If you can’t think of anybody fitting the description of an in-person friend, well, can I interest you in a real life?

Sure, there are the obvious ways of staying connected, like Facebook, Twitter, texting, faxing each other handwritten notes, leaving encoded messages in toilet paper, raw eggs, and forks on people’s front lawns, and throwing dead birds (sound familiar, long-term readers? For those of you who’re new, go here) with notes attached in place of homing pigeons.

However, those methods can come across as a bit awkward.


For example, if you post a photo of yourself on Facebook depicting your family posing in front of some scenic landmark on vacation, the only logical comment would be a) something about your family, which is always awkward, b) something about how much fun you must be having on vacation, which is weird, or c) something about the landmark you are standing in front of, which is weird and awkward.


Twitter can also be a bit of a struggle. In the first place, you only have 140 characters to connect, in one tweet, to all of your 7,021,000,003 friends. (For those of you keeping track of things, yes, that is three people more than the ‘rounded’ global population. See, someone just had triplets, and their ‘loving’ parents ‘followed’ you for the new borns as is now the custom. Now that I think about it, it’s really a shame we didn’t grow up with our parents tweeting about us for us. Our childhoods would have been even more embarrassing.)

Yes, you could mention specific people in each tweet, but to keep a conversation growing your tweets will start to look like “@TylerT1 it was the cat; @Orangey5 yeah, an after he hadta get a new fishbowl; @123bob we all had sushi for dinner; @rrrandy no that’s disgusting”.


Okay, so Facebook’s photos are awkward and Twitter is impersonal. Texting solves for both of those inconveniences, right? WRONG.

At least with Facebook and Twitter, you commonly update things. Unless you text someone regularly, it’s unusual to get random texts from people whose number you might not even have.

On top of that, what are you supposed to say? “Hey wat’s up?” Only girls do that*. So, I guess if you’re a girl you could text your in-person friends, but I’m not a girl. Statistically, there is 1.01 boys for every 1 girl (as for those triplets now following you on twitter, one is a girl, one is a boy, and one is a .51-.49 boy-girl mix. Don’t question nature), so the majority of you aren’t girls either.

*to girls reading this: don’t get mad at me. I did edit out the accompanying ‘:)’ to make you look less….girly.


All that’s left, aside from the dead birds with notes and the raw eggs (both of which concern handling things that could contain dangerous viruses/bacteria), then, is sending each other faxes.

Logically, the effort and personal touch of faxing a hand-written note, combined with the uniqueness and originality of it, should outweigh the awkwardness of the action. This would be true, except for one slight problem. No teen has, wants, or knows how to operate a fax machine. In fact, going back to our definition of an in-person friend, no teen could recognize a fax machine in a police line up, even if every other thing in the line up was a person.

Thus, it appears that staying in touch with the rare in-person friend whom you neither text nor hang out with regularly can be a bit difficult over the summer. The good news? It’s summer, which means you won’t care. The bad news? It will be really awkward when you meet these people again in three months. But hey, three months is basically a gajillion years away. Right now, it’s summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. Phil, great post. loved it!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ve found out a grammatical error in your post. Shouldn’t it be “people’s front lawns” instead of “peoples’ front lawns”? I’m not sure. I don’t know gramar.

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