A Failure to Communicate

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“We are a couple of oddballs, are we not?” The Devil asked as a charming smile spread across his handsome face.

As always, he was dressed in an impeccably tailored suit that would have earned him a gold medal if the Winter Olympics had fashion categories.

“That’s pretty obvious, so could you narrow it down to what you’re referencing at the moment?” I asked and then blew my nose for the millionth time today.

“We live in a time when no one communicates face to face anymore,” Lucifer clarified as he passed me the tissues.  “Everyone uses social media to interact now, and they laugh if you suggest getting together to do something.  But here we are, every Sunday, chatting it up like a couple of old school hold outs.”

I was certain he meant that last line as a positive, but it made us sound like a couple of rejects from a time before the internet changed the world forever.

“I see what you mean,” I conceded as I took a long sip of my Snapple.  “I’m not a fan of leaving everything to texting, tweeting, and whatever the correct verb is for using Snap Chat.  Snapping?  Chatting?”

The Prince of Darkness shrugged because he had absolutely no idea what the word was, either.  Not that it was an actual word, but another slang term forced into the vernacular by lazy millennials who couldn’t be bothered to use proper English.

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“I’d much prefer to be face to face with most of the people I text,” I confessed.  “However, if the only choice is social media over no communication at all, I’ve got to give in to peer pressure.  The sound of utter silence would be absolutely deafening.”

“There’s no WiFi in Hell!” Satan declared proudly.  “My house.  My rules.”

I chuckled at my guest’s bravado and then blew my nose again.

“Maybe this is the problem with the world today,” I philosophized as I tossed my tissue into the wastebasket.  “No one knows how to communicate anymore except through slang, photos, memes, and emojis.  No wonder the place is falling apart around us.”

“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” The Devil emphasized with a smile.

“I’m a writer,” I stated the obvious.  “Bending words to my will is my superpower, and yet, I go on that dating website, and I can’t figure out what to write to get a woman to respond.  It shouldn’t come down to an awesome profile pic and a perfect email that breaks some cryptic internet dating code to start up a conversation.  I should be able to meet a woman face to face, talk to her, and then read her body language and facial expressions to know if I’m doing well.”

short story, The Devil, social media, communication, humor, Modern Philosopher“The world would be a better place if the power went out, and everyone was forced to interact via candlelight,” Lucifer mused as he sipped his Snapple.

I blew my nose yet again and nodded.

“Is a worldwide blackout something you can arrange?” I wondered aloud.

“Just say the word, and The Prince of Darkness will level the playing field for you with the snap of his fingers.”

I smiled and thought about my guest’s offer.  A life free of technology did have a certain appeal to it, and I’m probably more handsome in the dark.

Definitely something I’d have to consider in the weeks ahead…

About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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12 Responses to A Failure to Communicate

  1. markbialczak says:

    The guy on your side is the devil, Austin. Oh, boy. Wait, me, too. Face-to-face sure beats the new way of meet-and-greet.

  2. I’m beginning to think your Devil is Lucifer Morningstar. Not quite Evil evil…or I wouldn’t understand and agree.

  3. Austin, I can tell you I’m more handsome in the dark, but like you I’m firmly committed to face to face communication. I have it easier than you, I communicate with my wife nearly every day. Maybe you need to get to a bigger town to meet women. Eastport? Kittery? Lubec?

  4. Why not cut the power to see how the world develops then. I wonder would it change anything? Have social interactions changed or evolved? Social media is useful to hold people accoudoir their actions. What is bad though is the extremities to which some people are held accountable. Sometimes some thing as simple as having a little too much around the waist gets you flamed online. But it’s not truly holding someone accountable in this case is it? It’s more of bullying and harassing. I believe social media is simply a reflection of the mercurial nature of men. It’s is just another weapon that can either be used to hurt or to heal.

    • Austin says:

      Did you watch the show Revolution that was on a few years ago? It’s about life after all the power on Earth goes out. As always, bad things happen…as expected if people can’t check their Facebook and tweet!:)

      • It’s interesting. As an absurd man, this makes sense. Absurdism of Albert Camus, myth of Sisyphus or in L’étranger. It is a common human trait to find truths where there are none. It helps us understand the world we are presented with.

  5. cat9984 says:

    I’m not sure having The Devil interfering with your dating life is a good idea. What’s his idea of the perfect woman for you?

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