I bet that common ringtone of an incoming message is so familiar that it is echoing in your head right now. You’re either thinking about the sound of this ringtone or you’re expecting it to ring in the next few minutes. Sometimes or at least most of the time that sharp “Ding!” or “Bloop!” (depending on your phone settings) is all we find ourselves waiting for. If not waiting, we are creating this sound in further distances.
With high-speed internet connecting us 24/7, we are extremely up to date with everything. I remember how I would have to buy a prepaid card and then connect to a wifi network that required me to literally “chase” its signal. At the time, Pohnpei was still living in the era of modems and prepaid wifi connections. I hated it. When the fiber optic cable was introduced, to have broadband Internet was a must. The whole island craved it. But then, the FSM is still in the process of marrying the Internet—we are still getting to know it thoroughly. There was still one thing we lacked. And that was mobilized high-speed internet. Mobile phones or laptops needed to have access to a wifi network. High-speed internet is only available at home or a hotspot, not everywhere you go which to me is a good thing.
Being here at Creighton or the U.S.A, I feel like the most up to date person ever. I have people back home messaging me not to know how I’m doing but instead, they ask to be sent a list of the most recent songs played out here. I receive a text message every time a comment or post is made on any of my social media blogs. Both my phone and computer notify me the instant a new email is received. I receive reminders of tuition bills, an email from a group I don’t remember signing up for, or an email notifying me that an assignment was graded.
No one enjoys being nagged by the ultimate “Ding!”. But to me, that is entirely dependent on my mood and what I am doing when an incoming message is received. When I feel awkward in the middle of a huge crowd or standing in line at the cafeteria, I reach for my phone and read the unread emails. When I am watching my guilty pleasure show on Netflix and that “Ding!” sounds, I instantly swipe my phone and set it on silent.
Before I leave my dorm, I reach into my pocket and make sure a rectangular surface is present. Second, I check my other pocket to see if I have the keys to the door. Who knows I might run into that awkward situation and have nothing else to do but read an unread email or reply to a message. Anything to make me look like I’m a very busy person because of course, everyone else will be.
I’m thankful for my Samsung phone for being with me all the time. I’m thankful for my MacBook for keeping me updated with the news of my inbox even when I don’t ask for it. Thank you for all that you’ve done, but I think it is time I change your settings up a bit. Now, I’d like to start receiving emails, notifications, and instant messages only when asked.