Cyber Tells

Recently,  I was at the lab waiting to have my blood drawn when I noticed that I had a text message waiting on my cell phone. I opened it and found that someone apparently had the wrong number, as they were looking for a fellow named “Nick.” I didn’t want them to think that “Nick” was ignoring them, and so, with the intent of being helpful, I hit reply and sent a quick note saying that this was not Nick’s number. A minute or so later, I received a reply, “YOU HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER.” I was a bit taken back by the all caps reply. I blinked while looking at my cell phone screen intently and thought, “Are you yelling at me?” After all, I wasn’t the one with the wrong number! I was only trying to be helpful! I thought about this as the all caps stared back at me without batting an eye. Humph! I thought. If this person had a half of a brain, they’d know that I hit reply and was responding to a message that came straight from their cell phone! They had the wrong number, not me! My pulse increased and my blood began to race through my veins.

This is ridiculous, I thought, and then the left side of my brain said, “Just put your phone back into your purse and let it go.” But the helpful, right side of my brain reasoned that I should educate this dim-witted person about how the “reply” button on a cell phone works. The right side won out. And so, I hit the reply button once again. I gave a short explanation that I had received a message sent from their phone for someone by the name of “Nick,” and that I was responding only to let them know that THEY HAD THE WRONG NUMBER. And yes, I did use capitalization in my response. Now the person on the receiving end must have had lightening speed thumbs because I received a reply within 30 seconds, “ONCE AGAIN YOU HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER.” This time I knew that speedy thumbs was yelling at me – and it had to be a woman. After all, a man wouldn’t bother using capitalization. A man wouldn’t have bothered to respond to a misdirected text in the first place. He would ignore it, assuming that the other person would figure things out. He wouldn’t care that poor old Nick was going to be in hot water when he came home for dinner that night. It didn’t matter that Nick wouldn’t have a clue why he was in trouble, because he never received the text from his female counterpart. I felt bad for poor Nick, having to come home after a hard day’s work to Ms. Capitalization. But a man’s response would be simple, “Whoever Nick is, he’ll figure it out.”

I sat in my chair and clinched my teeth. I thought about all kinds of capitalization’s I could respond with. Then I heard the technician call my name. I followed her to the back room and took a seat. She swabbed my arm and was delighted to find a nice big vein to poke. “Wow!” she said, “You’ve got some nice veins popping up here!” I smiled in response, but thought, “If you only knew.” I held my cell phone in the opposite hand as I watched my blood shoot into the glass tube. The technician chatted away about the lovely weather outside, but my mind was busy formulating a clever, all caps response to Ms. Cyber-thumbs. I thought I could make it short and sweet, something like, “PUT A CORK IN IT AND LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR CELL PHONE.” The technician placed a Band-aid on my arm and sent me on my way. I rotated my phone in my hand while I walked across the parking lot to my car. Then a small voice in my head told me to put my cell phone back into my purse and let it go. “Humph!” I mumbled. Then I tossed my phone into my purse, but kept the feed so I would recognize the number should I receive another misdirected text from HER again.

Over the next day or so, I forgot about my cyber-rage episode. Then I came across the feed while sending a text to a friend. I re-read the exchange and began to analyze the situation. I wondered if the text sender was just having a bad day, or if they needed serious counseling. I thought about how I had let this unknown text opponent get under my skin, and then wondered if I needed to seek counseling. It is amazing how quickly we can react to another person’s words, or actions. We can let these things interrupt our day, our week, or even our sleep. By allowing negative thoughts to take up residence in our mind, we can miss the good things that come our way. I feel a little sheepish having to admit that my human nature got the best of me – and it probably won’t be the last time it happens. But I do hope that I’ll remember that such minuscule things in life aren’t worth expelling energy on, that letting some things go is the best choice. I tell my kids that we can’t change other people, or how other people act, but we can change our own actions and attitudes. We can choose to focus on the positive. Kindness almost always wins out. It’s not easy to take the high road, but the view is so much better from there!

Proverbs 12:18


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kristyn
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 06:46:40

    Tamara this one made me laugh out loud….But, then when I got to the end I felt bad for my laughing 🙂


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