Am I the only one that has had an awkward moment with technology? I sure hope not. As technology gets more and more advanced, it becomes easier and easier for college kids to make social faux pas that are publicized on vast social networks or left on a text message thread permanently. The worst part about these awkward moments is that we can review them and relive it as many times as we feel necessary to really shame ourselves into never doing it again.
Then, inevitably it happens again.
But don’t blame yourself, “how am I supposed to know that was innapropriate, I was super awkward in high school”, you can blame technology instead of blaming your awkward teen years.
Things that would never be awkward if not for technology:
1. Texting the wrong person something inappropriate.
I have the old 3g iphone previously owned by my father. Specifically, I have the old 3g iphone of my fathers that has been well loved and dropped a few times. It is an iphone that has tolerated some serious abuse. Sometimes the iphone gets confused as to what I am asking it to do. oh you wanted music? I thought you wanted mail! It takes upwards of 1 minute (a lifetime in tech years) to load just about anything. Given the technological handicap, I should know to pay special attention to what my iphone is doing so that I can avoid awkward moments. Here is a text message conversation I had last night with my employer, and a professor at my college:
Me: I am available tomorrow if you need me!
Professor: Thank you!
Me: yaaa late start to the gym but I’ll probably pregame and watch modern family at Watson. Will you all be in knox?
Professor: and what is the beverage of choice for modern family
Yep. That happened. To make matters worse, as the shock of my technological mishap set in, I fell off the ancient stair stepper in the gym and swore loudly in front of a philosophy professor. This would not happen if not for technology. No one would ever accidentally dial a professor on the phone and inform them where they are drinking that night.
Specifically, random dialing. My phone likes to ring up random people all the time. The iphone is supposed to be impenetrable to butt dialing, but mine has a mind of its own-constantly seeking to bring about total social mortification. The latest random act of dialing? The boy that I had a sixth grade fling with at summer camp. Great, I never thought I would have to talk to you again after my obvious wedgie at the senior camp social. Awesome.
3. Accidentally sending reply-all emails
Thankfully I have only been on the receiving end of these awkward emails. You know the one that was only meant for one of the people on the email list. Perhaps you are writing about something that happened to you that you didn’t want anyone to know about.
Steph Curry is so hot…homewrecker?
Shit. That was reply all. Sorry
Or maybe it is about someone on the email chain
Is sally snowflake pmsing or what? That email was soooo bitchy.
How does one recover from accidental reply all emails? Well, you don’t. You could try to talk about it with the person to diffuse the situation. But in all likelihood, that’s going to be even more awkward. Just pretend that it never happened. Wait, that’s awkward too. I got nothing.
4. Funny contact names that go public.
Yep. You know that weird kid you met this summer that you jokingly add as ‘small Asian guy from Cs bar’, in your contacts? Or maybe you are that girl that you know is named ‘boobs’ in some guy’s contact list. Of course, no one ever want these contact nicknames to go public, and sometimes you really just couldn’t remember the name when you inputed the contact. It’s the off chance that this person uses your phone, sees your contact list, and you end up looking like a total asshole. For awhile, my freshman roommate was listed as ‘Porno’ in the contact lists of our group of guy friends. This was their nickname for her before we all became friends. Imagine the awkwardness when that information came out at a court party.
5. Alcohol induced emotional text messages of incoherence
I think everyone can soberly agree that texting anyone after 1 am is never a good idea. The key is convincing yourself of this three drinks in. This is an uphill battle. You will never win. Drunk self will always prevail. Then, when you wake up in the morning, a mild headache becomes a migraine as you rack through all your text messages that sound like a psychotic Carrie Bradshaw got a hold of your phone. There are a few things we do to solve for this potential awkward moment. Some of these strategies are more ingenious than others. First, you can give your phone to your wingwoman. This comes at a risk because of the potential to easily convince her to give it back to you in a moment of desperation. You run the risk of your wingwoman attempting to impersonate you on your phone-this is a code red. Therefore, many of us resort to the tried and true strategy of changing contact names. Soberly targeting offensive contacts and changing their names to include numbers, smileys or statements like “do not text-insert name” effectively tricks your after hours self into never texting the wrong person late night.
The point is- Technology is a great way of communication, but comes with its own set of social obstacles to overcome….even for the generation raised in the information age. Don’t let this be you! But chances are, you are familiar with these awkward moments as they happen on a regular basis, and never cease to be just as uncomfortable.