Option #2: Substituting Facebook Messaging for Texting
Wednesday, October 22, 2014: Today was the first day that I chose to eliminate texting from my daily routine and use Facebook messaging. Initially, due to force of habit I would automatically check the text message. After an hour it finally registered that I would not be using my phone for the next two days. I felt anxious and did not know what to expect.
Thursday, October 23, 2014: The second day without text messaging was easier than this first. I was more conscious of charging my laptop versus my cell phone because I knew that it would be my main form of communication for the day. There were longer periods of time without communication with a friend because taking out my computer was not always appropriate in certain social contexts.
Friday, October 24, 2014: This day was the most difficult. Personally, Friday is the most social day of the week, and while making plans I felt isolated because I wasn’t able to contribute to a group text message. I was inclined to individually message my friends online. It was particularly difficult at a party; I constantly had to make sure I was with one of my friends because if I lost one of them it would be more difficult to get in touch with them. Contemporarily, we live in a society where individuals use technology as a medium of communication. These modes are called communication technologies and have become crucial while constructing relationships. Our idioms of practice, and media ideologies both affect what we consider appropriate social uses of technology. For my experiment, I used Facebook messaging as a substitution for texting. While both forms are considered to be quasi-synchronous, there are certain dimensions, which juxtapose the two. For example, “texting was ever-present and too informal, while instant messaging could offer a textual representation of spoken conversation.” (Gershon, 2010, p. 29) Instant messaging is seen more as face-to-face conversations because it allows for conversational turn taking and how people respond to each other in person. Which is a concept theorized by Don Zimmerman that refers to the process in which people in a conversation decide who should speak next. People turn to texting as a less personal, divided conversation in certain contexts because it does not resemble as much as an in-person conversation. Due to my own ideologies, texting is less personal than instant messaging because it is less rapid and enables time for your reply. My media ideologies on texting were developed through idioms of practice, which have helped me differentiate the appropriate social uses of technology. I selected instant messaging as an alternative for texting because it was more similar than calling or using email. Many of my friends have the Facebook application on their cell phones, so it was as accessible to them as texting is. I initially predicted that I would be missing out on plans, or wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with my friends as much as I could with my cell phone. However, I found myself calling them more often if it was urgent, where I would normally just text a friend if I needed something.
Initially, the change in communication media seemed impossible. It often felt like I was breaking a societal norm by refusing to answer a text message. I was unsure how my friends were going to react to this deviation generated by my alternative use of instant messaging. I felt nostalgic because instant messaging is a medium that I used before I had a cell phone and seemed like a more outdated technology. Since language is always changing, it is inevitable that their will always be a changing new media landscape. This relates to remediation, and how my media ideologies and uses of texting connect to the history of the usage of instant messaging. My personal experience on how instant messaging intertwines with the feeling of nostalgia may