Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Drunk Dialing the High Tech Way

I've discovered (as I imagine most of you have as well) that there is a modern incarnation of the classic "drunk dialing".

Texting (or emailing) while drinking.

The ready availability of services on cell phones such as SMS texting and email have provided a new outlet for late night drunken rambling that would have been better left with the stale beer and cigarette butts on the bar floor.

The old style of drunk dialing is still readily available, of course. Calling (typically late at night) the old girlfriend who just dumped you, the new girl you just met over beers earlier that night, the (now ex-) boss who has been sucking the life force out of you, the (now ex-) friend who you believe slighted you in a way that becomes enormously magnified by blood alcohol content...sure, that'll never go away, particularly since you don't even have to scrounge for change to make the call. (Tangent - Will the next generation even know what a pay phone is?)

But texting is soooo much worse than calling.

Why? Because at least with the voice call, you can categorically deny the next day that you said anything close to what you're being accused of. ("No way I said that - you must have been completely stoned yourself if that's what you think you heard...and really, what I was trying to say was [spin, spin, spin]...")

But with the permanent record of text/email, you can run, but you can't hide. Your only clear choices to avoid inevitable exposure and public humiliation as the text is copied to all your friends, her friends, her friends friends, and major media outlets, are
  • moving out of town, or
  • hurling yourself off the roof of Speakeasy1.
(I suppose you could try throwing yourself under a downtown pedi-cab, but death is very uncertain and the tire marks don't scrub out of your clothes).

We need a new cultural reference for this to separate it from the lesser evil of drunk dialing. Inebriated Email? Tipsy Texting? Smashed SMS?

Your suggestions are welcome. And my advice to you is...don't. Just don't.

1For the non-Austinites in the audience, Speakeasy is a bar with a great open sky roof at the top of a million step staircase. ie, it's high enough to cause serious head trauma so that even if you don't die from the fall, you can claim to be brain damaged enough to act really puzzled anytime someone tries to bring up the incriminating text...


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