Paralyzed by Texting!

07.11.12 Hola. Last week I went out riding my bicycle as I do several times a week. When I returned to my apartment building, I saw a muchacho/guy standing near my building door. He was looking down at his gadget, texting. I thought perhaps he was waiting for someone from the building. Or was he trying to sell something? It’s very rare to see anyone standing outside my building because it’s a 6-apartment building. I decided to spend a little bit more time out so I continued riding my bike for a few minutes longer thinking this muchacho would be gone when I got back. When I returned to go in my building, he was still there and texting. This time, I arrived behind him so I was able to observe him. What I noticed was that he was paralyzed with texting. He wasn’t about to move. He seemed frozen and fully-absorbed into texting. I began jingling my keys and that caused him to very slowly move while texting. He never looked at anything but his gadget’s screen. He was slowly moving step-by-step down the sidewalk while texting. He was about to cross the street at a not-so-good intersection. A vehicle got there just before he did and turned just in front of him. He was oblivious to the traffic. He continued texting and taking “baby-steps.” He very slowly started to cross the street without looking in any direction because he was texting. It’s common to see people not looking before crossing the street because they are busy with their addiction to texting. I continued to watch him as he walked step-by-step down the sidewalk and he slowly went up the stairs to—I guess it was—his apartment/home which was only two doors down after crossing the street. Why didn’t this muchacho just go home and text since he was nearly home to begin with when he was standing outside my apartment building all that time?

This was the worst case of texting addiction I’ve seen. Texting is paralyzing this muchacho. The thing is, he was carrying all of this office/work stuff with him and holding it while texting. Wouldn’t it have been easier to go home, put it all down and begin the texting addiction there? I guess he couldn’t wait that long. Sort of like a tobacco smoker’s addiction. But I suspect he is completely unaware that he has an addiction to texting, as is the case with many (most?) people.

“what is is” told me that at his gym that he and another muchacho are about the only two guys there not texting. All the other people there are either glued to headphones or texting gadgets. I asked “what is is” how much of a work-out do the chicos get at the gym? He said: Their thumbs are about the only thing that get a workout. The majority of the time they are at the gym they are texting. And I suspect that these gym chicos like to tell people: “I work out 6 days a week.”

“what is is” says the gym now is more like a texting library than a gym. The muchacho I mentioned earlier who doesn’t text at the gym came over to “what is is” recently and said, “You’re about the only person in here not texting.” They talked about it and shared their frustrations about this addiction. The other muchacho told “what is is” that it’s very difficult to have conversations with anyone anymore, other than his partner. He’s lost nearly all of his gay friends; the friends he has now are straight. He said he texts but only for work and leaves the gadget at home all other times. Chau.—rosa barrio


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