I, a frustrated child of this generation, nursed on, yet never quite weaned off of Technology’s teat, decry the current state of Digital Communication.

IT is apparent to all that communication via cellular phone ought not be cause for stress, nor aggravation, nor trickery.

FOR, as morally upright humans, we should deplore recognize negligent, unsympathetic treatment towards our fellow man, whether it be digital or face-to-face.

HOWEVER, the current state of Digital Communication is exactly as such.

TEXT messaging has become the primary mode of Communication for this generation.

HOWEVER, the magnitude of meaning that the conveyance of language demands far surpasses the capabilities of Text Messaging.

TEXT Messaging is oft no longer used in earnest for its intended purpose of Communication.


RATHER, a culture has arisen in which the time taken for a response, the type of punctuation used, and the emoticons employed are all subject to scrutiny and imaginative interpretation.

WE must cease tolerating Text Messaging as a substitute for Speech or In-Person Interaction, for it does not behave as such, for it does not even begin to reflect the intricacies of human interaction.

THE delicate nuances of speech and the shimmering subtlety of language do not deserve to be lost and left behind, never to reach its intended recipient, as they are when one presses Send.

NO variation of Short Messaging Service can come close to face-to-face interlocution, but we must try.

WE must not stand by idly as our methods of communication disintegrate.

WE must take action.

WE must turn on our Read Receipts.

I call upon Digital Communicators with the capability to activate Read Receipts on iMessage to do so, to stand in solidarity against the current perversion of Communication that persists between cell towers and grows stronger with each message sent.

BY the power invested in this iPhone feature, we will not hide.

WE will, perhaps reluctantly, relinquish the tenuous power entrenched in the air of mystery that exists without Read Receipts, for without Read Receipts, our partner in conversation remains unaware of whether or not we have read their Text.

WE will notify our fellow interlocutor of the time at which we read their message.

WE will create a world in which our primary mode of Communication resembles honest, transparent conversation as much as possible.

IN which there will be no “rules” for texting.

IN which we will respond to a text as soon as we can.

IN which we will have no cause for anxiety after sending a Text, for we will know, from a Read Receipt, whether or not someone “got our text.”

IN which the chasm into which unanswered messages fall no longer exists, so that one can no longer use this lapse in Digital Communication, this wasteland, as an excuse for not responding.

IN which, should it be the case, we will know whether we are being ignored.

IN which, should the situation necessitate, we will have the ability to let someone know that we are ignoring them.

LET us join together in remonstrance and take up the weapons given to us by Technology to destroy the digital curtain behind which we are tempted to hide.

LET us free ourselves from the shackles of doubt, hesitation, and anticipation.

LET us instead bound bravely, phone in hand in hand, into the future of Honest Digital Communication.


LET us turn on our Read Receipts.

We must cease tolerating
Elizabeth Lian as a substitute for Nassau Weekly.