Let’s Chat. Or Not.

Chat features. Just the word chat is a good indicator that I won’t be on board. I don’t really chat. I talk, I discuss, I rant (duh), I rail on incessantly and have occasionally broken into a full-blown monologue.

Chat, to me, is smaller. Now don’t go thinking I’m all self-important and lofty. I’m not. Chatting is just the day-to-day conversation we have that keeps us up to date on the goings on of others, aware of the weather and in tune with our general cultural song.

It’s important.

I’m just not good at it. I can’t carry that tune.

A perfect example is the other day when I went to a bar with my friend, Steph.  She invited another friend up as well — someone I had never met. When Steph stepped away to the restroom and got sucked into a small-world encounter that had her chatting with someone else for nearly a half hour, I was sunk.

I held my own with the stranger for the first 10 minutes. I killed another 5 by taking Steph’s phone apart and putting it back together again backwards. Then I was done.

For lack of anything better to do, I introduced myself to her friend a second time. I tapped my fingers a few times on the table. Might have drunk the rest of my whiskey a bit too quickly.

Then  the wrong started coming out. There may have been some talk about bone saws. Definitely some about transvestites. A teensy bit of paranoia over Social Media checkins. It kind of turned into a train wreck.

So if we acknowledge out of the gate that I am no good with chatting in general, it’s easy to see why chat features freak me out a bit.

We use a chat feature for work. Since my department is scattered across the country, it’s kind of necessary. But that little blip of a new message makes me anxious. They all know I’m online –  if I don’t answer, will someone get their nose out of joint? I can’t stand typos, yet the short amount of time I have to answer means there will be some. So my OCD kicks in.

Then there’s text chatting. I blame texting for the destruction of the English language. I will never h8 anything, or brb. I may hate it, but I will type out be right back.

Every now and then Facebook magically flips my chat feature on. And because I never use it, I don’t notice until someone sends me a chat message.

Then I freeze. I can’t respond, because then I’d have to continue the dialogue, or be all rude and say flat out, “Don’t want to talk to you right now, my friend.”

But I can’t close out the chat feature either. That’s like snubbing someone who just greeted you while you were walking down the street.

Better to ignore it…maybe they’ll think I walked away from the computer?

The problem is, I can’t do anything else on Facebook, either. (This is where the weirdo kicks in). I can’t comment anywhere, I can’t like anything…I’m too afraid the chatter will notice and know that I am slighting them.

So I move on to other things. Research, Twitter, email.

And I forget to go back and turn off the chat feature later.

So the next time I hop on Facebook, the chat is still on. And of course, I don’t notice it until someone hits me up.

And of course I’m writing this as a diversion…I was hit up for FB chat this morning so I had t find something else to do.

Anyone want to do me a favor and hit Like, or comment, just so that I will get the notification and be reminded to turn that stupid feature off?



9 thoughts on “Let’s Chat. Or Not.

  1. I think that nerdy geeky types like, say, me, have less trouble with chat in the moment, because they just discuss their enthusiasm of the moment. Incessantly. Mercilessly. With no (in the moment) awareness of the victim’s eyes glazing over, glazing deeper and deeper like the skin on pudding. Or something.

    If I were chatting with you during someone else’s restroom break, I would just ask you about your favorite perfume, and by the time the someone got back I’d have finished explaining top/heart/basenotes and aldehydes and the evils of perfume regulators, and you’d…

    Oh. Yes. Now I realize what I just read; you’d be talking about bone saws. Maybe it would be a sort of glazed-eyes duel.

    I’m done babbling now. Enjoying the blog, though. Just so you know.


    • See, I’m ok with that sort of enthusiasm…we could entertain each other. That stuff is informative, interesting and something you’re passionate about. It’s the early stage non-talk that I am so bad at. I am inclined to jump in with Hi, I’m Lynnette Did you know that Japan has caught the first picture of a live giant squid…yada yada…historically blah blah…cthulu. I go from 0-nuts in no time. I’m kind of like a hooker who wants an engagement ring on the first hookup. *John backs away slowly with his hands up*


  2. Lynnette! Martha! I think you are both so right on, I am ok with that enthusiasm and I can do that and the FB chat I’m cool with, too, but in real life? No, no no no no, no way. No how. Nerp. By the way, Lynnette! Chthulu? I’m thinking of starting a sitcom. I’m calling it “Chthulu is that Yhoulu?” Enthusiastic band of ROWers or something, blah blah de blah blah. Good post!


  3. Cthulhu! OK, is there a statistical link between those who are small-talk-challenged and those with a fondness for sanity-challenging Lovecraftian creatures?

    I want to ask if either of you ever played the Chaosium game. Then I think that asking that exceeds the geekiness limit. Then I ask anyway. I don’t play it any more, but I don’t look at that as evidence of advanced maturity, I look at it as something to regret.


    • I am such a sad thing; yes, I game-ish, or game-lite, if you count Runescape as a game. In old-style, I am a ranked player, lvl 121 p2p combat, in new-era EOC, I don’t know what the heck I am. Seeing as how I’m the nerd trifecta of violinist, math, computer, old-style, from the wayback, I easily translated to gaming in the now and can yammer for hours, to the detriment of all. I have NOT played Chaosium, but if it has a Chthulu in it, I’m all for it. I read all of the Lovecraft stories and back in high school, one of my dearest friends just thought “Yog Sothoth” was the funniest thing she’d ever heard, so she would run up and down the halls and holler that gleefully. Why, I remember this 40 years later, I do not know. She still talks about it.

      I have way too much garbage and enthusiasm in my head. I share it with my writerly friends. Everyone else thinks, no, they know I’ve been in the Happy Farm. Don’t look at your playing or asking about Chaosium as something to regret. Celebrate your inner weird. I do, Martha! Happy Friday and weekend!


  4. Lynnette,

    I won’t deny that I have been guilty of BRB or a few other short acronyms. but in all honestly texting didn’t make me use those first. As I recall (and being much older), I grew up in the era of actually passing notes back in forth and school (good lord texting would have been a dream come true)! We would shorten our notes with acronyms for sake of brevity (you only had so much room to get your message across).

    I have to admit though I definitly like your flair of small talk. I didn’t think it was possible to talk about bone saws and transvestites in such a short time period! You definitely know how to make small talk fun!!!

    Aaron 🙂


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