The handoff, in American Football, is defined as a play in which the quarterback, who starts every play with the ball, literally hands the ball to another player on his own team, transferring responsibility for moving that ball to someone else.
I would like to propose a new definition.
The handoff, in American societal communication, shall from this point on, refer to the moment in time when a person uses one of the following phrases; "I'll text you later. Are you on Facebook?" or "Google it!" to transfer the responsibility for communication to someone else.
By using these phrases people are literally saying, they would rather take the chance of not speaking to you later, as opposed to definitely finishing your interaction now.
These 3 phrases have turned useful and fulfilling communication with other human beings into something delayed, hollow, and extremely ridiculous.
My sister dated a guy once that we all referred to as "The Texter." This individual, while seemingly normal enough in person, was apparently incapable of dialing and talking into a phone. His primary form of communication was text messages. If he was proposing a date, drinks , or just checking in, he did it all through text message.
He was, in essence, a 14 year old girl.
Now I will not deny the importance of text messaging. I do it all the time. In fact, I text so much that I recently had to increase the amount of text messages I am allowed every month as part of my plan.
My friends and I use the text message as a supplementary form of communication. Not as the form. But as time marches on, I see more and more people using texts as the sole way they interact with others.
This guy my sister dated was physically incapable of calling her to schedule plans. Perhaps it is because we have made typing so second nature that talking to people actually made him uncomfortable.
We are dividing ourselves out from the responsibility of face to face contact. In fact, I am pretty sure that within the next decade we will start seeing "Google it" popping up on people's tombstones.
Some time ago, when I still believed in the gym, I was there (getting huge obviously) and I overheard 2 people talking. It was a guy hitting on a girl who was obviously not interested. It was a painful situation. So painful in fact that I considered dropping a dumbbell on my own face so I wouldn't have to watch it anymore.
This guy is rambling on and on and I can't look away. It was like a really long, slow, car accident. He was completely oblivious to how much this girl didn't want to be talking to him.
In the span of 5 minutes this clown told this girl to "Google it" three times. Once about some band he liked, once about his tour guide from his trip to Israel, and by the third time he said it I didn't catch the reference. I was too busy eyeing a sizable weight to end my misery.
Google it? No. That girl didn't want to Google it. She's not taking notes. She's not a reporter OK? You are not hitting on Lois Lane. This is a conversation not a press conference.
Don't tell me to Google things because I am not going to. If I wanted to google it I would have Googled it before I left the house. I want you to tell me what it is. Now. That is the point of having a conversation. And if you don't know what it is, you shouldn't be talking about it in the first place. I will not Google it. I will not Wikipedia it. How dare you turn nouns into verbs on me? Why don't you go Google it and talk to me when you have some actual knowledge?
A hundred ago when somebody didn't know what something was, they didn't say;
Hey go dictionary it.
You should library it.
No. They just, of their own volition, got up and looked it up. I don't need you to tell me what knowledge I don't have. Go find your own knowledge.
But I think the ultimate slap in the face is the one that Facebook hath brought upon us.
Long ago in olden times, when people wanted to become friends or stay in touch with somebody they'd just met, they made their best efforts to do so. What started as, "May I stop by your home sometime?" eventually evolved to, "Can I get your number?" and has finally settled on, "Are you on Facebook?"
I remember the first time it happened to me. It was my last semester in college and I ran into somebody I wanted to keep in touch with. I was about to say "Hey give me your number and we can chat" but before I could say that I was hit with;
Are you on Facebook?
Oh. Oh I see how it is.
Facebook has become the consolation prize of friendship. Too lazy or uncaring to ask for a phone number, we offer up a half assed "Are you on Facebook?"
We do it so much so that it has practically become mandatory for all interactions.
So basically what you are saying is instead of spending 10 seconds putting 7 digits into your phone and pushing save, you are telling me you are going to go home, turn on your computer, get on the interweb, log on to Facebook, search for my name (pending you can spell it correctly) click the button that says "add as friend" and then wait for between 3 and 15 days while I make you sweat it out on whether or not I will accept your friendship so as not to make you think that I am a a loser with nothing else to do but sit on Facebook 23 hours a day and instantly respond to any and all requests that come my way.
And then, finally I will click "accept" so that instead of being a person of moderate relevance in your cellular phone, I can be added, and probably lost, amongst the hundreds of "friends" you are "connected to" on Facebook.
Yea, you are right. That is way better than pushing 8 buttons.
I suppose it's better than actually becoming friends. In fact, if you want to become friends with me, you should probably just go through my blog.
And if you don't know the address, well... just Google it.