Not too long ago I had a dream where I looked at Facebook and saw three pineapple icons posted on my page. Being a nosy person, I pressed on each pineapple but nothing happened. Or so I thought. It turned out that by pressing on the pineapples every message and picture I’d ever sent to anyone via Messenger was sent to everyone on my contact list. Thankfully, I woke up from that nightmare quickly and, yes, I checked my phone immediately to make sure I hadn’t been texting or pressing pineapple icons in my sleep.
A few days after having that dream a co-worker said he was on the phone with his cell phone provider for close to an hour trying to clear up a problem he was having: text messages he sent were randomly going to the wrong person or groups of people. Can you imagine the kind of panic that might ensue for the Average Joe? Gulp. Make that double gulp.
I get in enough trouble with my own contact list. I have a good friend named Mary, another good friend named Mary Ann, and a husband named Mark. If I’m not careful, and this has happened to me, I’ll send a text to Mary or Mary Ann intended for Mark. Thankfully, both Mary and Mary Ann are nice people so they ignore my texts without humiliating me.
Of course, you don’t need a cell phone to get yourself in trouble. Back in the eighties I was working for a small company when a rudimentary form of email came into existence. A small group of employees entertained ourselves by sending each other messages for hours on end. Fun and games ceased the day one person sent the following to a work pal: “Has Baldo left for lunch yet?” Baldo, AKA the Boss, happened to be standing behind the receiver of that message and was not amused. Needless to say there were no more internal messages sent that didn’t pertain strictly to work.
Going even farther back to high school days, my friends and I shared essential news items via sheets of notebook paper folded into tiny footballs. Looking back, I think we spent more time writing each other notes than we spent taking notes. Most of the time we were successful in passing our notes surreptitiously, but every so often we got caught, usually in a study hall run by Big Red (a gym teacher known for her fondness for making students run laps whenever a rule was broken—there were days when all we did was run laps for the entire class). Since the notes were often about Big Red and her lack of fashion sense, she never made us read them out loud to the rest of the class. Instead she kept careful track of how many laps needed to be completed during our next gym period.
Those days are as dead as landlines and smartphones are here to stay. While I hope my cell phone never starts sending out random messages and pictures to various people on my contact list, if it ever does I can guarantee all my friends would be bored to death after receiving about a zillion pictures of our dog Rocky, along with thousands of texts to my sons reminding them to be sure and eat something other than carryout and asking them if they’ve paid their car insurance bill.
Speaking of dreams, the other night I had a dream I had been kidnapped (I can’t recall by whom, but I’m sure it had to be an absolutely desperate kidnapper) and every time I tried to get help by sending a text I couldn’t get the text to send. I used to have dreams where I was kidnapped and every time I opened my mouth to scream nothing came out. Technology has far too tight a grip on us all when it has replaced dreams about not being able to scream when you’re kidnapped with dreams about not being able to text when you’re kidnapped. Is this progress? Your guess is as good as mine.