The vibe out there among technology experts is, that since 2011, text messaging, in many countries, including the United States, is on the decline. (Christmas Eve, one of the busiest days of the year for texting, has seen a drop in the millions.)
But the Thanksgiving blessings sent by text (blessages, as I’ve shamelessly dubbed them in my spiked-apple-cider bliss), still remain as much a welcome ritual for me as the turkey that is always too big for my oven, and grandma’s sausage-thyme stuffing.
Facebook and Twitter have contributed to the texting decline, and the novelty of texting wore off long ago. The sending of holiday good-wishes, much like the writing out, and the sending of cards, can become less about thoughtfulness, and more about rote and duty. Perhaps.
But this year, still sleepy, I rolled over first thing Thanksgiving morning to my phone, and to:
“Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friend,” from an old friend.
And an ever-mounting stack continued throughout the day:
“I am thankful for you;”
“Love you, LoLo (emoticon);”
“Gobble Gobble! xoxo.”
I gave back. They kept coming. I gave some more. I started some. A domino effect of collective cyber-love permeated the autumn air.
As someone who insists on unplugging for a chunk of time every day, and often ignores her phone on weekends – much to the consternation of family and friends (Where R U?? Pay attention to your phone!!!) – I can’t get enough of those Thanksgiving texts.
And this year was a banner year for me, so us over-50s (all of my texts were from over-50s) are probably not as burnt-out as the younger set. Some texts were funny; some came with visuals. Some were long; some brief. And some were in snappy, convoluted text-tongue (Hppy THXgving, CUl8ter).
So, a thumbs-up to the electronic chorus of well-wishes; the lineup of virtual hugs. Because all together, they can live forever, strung together in my phone. A “‘Tis the season!” “I love you;” “I’m glad we’re still alive;” I miss you;” “I thought of you because I burnt my nuts in the oven,” narrative – the short version.