Text messaging for politicians

Couldn’t sleep, so I decided to take a shower at 4:30 am.  When I’m that wired, it usually indicates I’ve got a lot on my plate and I haven’t got my process for dealing with that plate sorted out.  So, shower it was.  And in the shower, my mind has a tendency to wander wherever it needs to go.  Today, it wandered to text messaging.  Chain of thought was: 

Aaaahhhh…good idea to take this shower.  But the water table is still low, so better not take too long a shower.  That’s very green of me.  Gee, I hope that man who emailed  me about his frustration with retooling his skill set has found a path in renewable energies.  Interesting that I’m thinking about jobs when I’m about to sell my home and move up to a new home.  Wonder if I’ll get my new home in time for the tax incentive?  Wonder if there will be enough inventory on the market to find a home?  Damn banks.  Anyway, who cares about the banks when there has just been such devastation in Haiti and Chile?  Interesting how the news seems to have completely forgotten about both Haiti and Chile and are back to talks of broken government.  Such a ridiculous system — two parties that can checkmate each other chronically and never get America moving.  Such rhetoric.  Wonder what would happen if the politicians weren’t allowed to speak?  Only text message? 

That really got me thinking.  The art of conversation is falling a bit by the wayside — people don’t phone anymore…they text.  Men text to ask for a date.  Women break up relationships via text.  In my business, the majority of communication with my team is via text messaging…ditto with my clients.  For those of you who don’t text, basically you have 140 characters to send a message (Twitter works the same way.) So imagine you want to meet your friend for lunch at Il Tramesino on Thursday…here’s how the “conversation” might go…

You:  Lunch Thurs? Il Tram in Encino?

Friend: Thurs no.  Fri, M, W good.  U?

You: M.  C u @ noon?  Want me 2 pick u up? LMK

Friend: Works, BFF.  Pick me up @ home.  Calling in sick.  LOL!  C u Mon. 🙂

Lots of shorthand.  C= see, U=you, 2=two, @=at, LMK=let me know, BFF=best friend forever,  LOL=laughing out loud.

The shorthand naturally develops out of necessity — not enough characters to waste on longhand.  And most color commentary is shorthand, like LOL.  When you need to send a more complicated message, there are not enough characters for fluff, feelings, or lots of explanation, sp  texts can be quite “cold”.  As a result,  texters add emoticons (smiley faces, frowns, hearts) to help clarify the tone of the text.  It is nearly impossible to spew rhetoric in a text.  The message just gets to the point. 

So what if politicians could ONLY communicate via text message?  All positioning and posturing would naturally disappear, and politicking as we know it would have to change — to focus on just the issues and not the fluff surrounding positioning.  Image how…

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 Dems and Reps wud TM the US re: pros & cons in health care battle. 

D: Single payer!

R: No. 

D: Public option. 

R: No! 

D: 4 the people?

R: NO!  Umm Yes…4 the business people!

D: Insurance Cos not working w/4 all Americans

R: Yes they r. Make profits 4 stockholders

D: Sarah Palin’s family went 2 Cda 4 medicare. 

R: Uhhhhhhh…

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