I have to say it, the time has come. It is the year Two Thousand freaking ELEVEN, people.
You need to get right with technology.
And I don't mean you need to shell out mad coin for that iCandy that everyone seems to blithely tote around as if it hasn't just blasted a rent-draining hole in their pocket book. No, what I mean is LEARN THE RULES.
Rule 1: Social networking exists. Deal with it.
"I hate Facebook!" or "Facebook scares me, I don't know how to do it!" are excuses that will not any longer, as dogs, hunt, as it were. Facebook (which I'll use as a catch-all for social media here) is the evolution of how we communicate with each other. That's not my opinion, it's a fact.
If you decided to join, you need to accept the fact that people - your real-life friends, even - will try to get in touch via Facebook. They might not even use email and they certainly won't call you. But it's okay, you can handle it, you can figure out the weird and conFUUUUsing world of the social network... just try to KEEP UP. If you choose not to join, great. I hear HAM radio's making a comeback.
Rule 2: I asked you a KWISCHIN, boy!
RSVP, let me know, confirm receipt, tell me you got this, holler back, blink once for yes, twice for no, PLEASE. If you got the inquiry I sent you, could you at least do me the solid of tapping the web to let me know my note isn't hanging in techno-limbo somewhere. It's not just helpful for my sanity, it's JUST EFFING POLITE. I don't even need a definitive answer, not even close. Call me insecure and neurotic (maybe you're right, what are people saying??!), I just need to know where we stand.
Rule 2a: I know you're out there, I can hear you tweeting.
I sent you that text message request a week ago, you sent me a link yesterday to that super-HIlarious cat video, updated your profile picture, reply-all'd to the party invitation we both got. It's not like I can't see that you're online, dude. Take a quick moment between guffaws and Cheeto bites and ANSWER ME.
Rule 3: Everyone has emergencies, not just you.
My biggest pet peeve: "Hey, send me your info RIGHT AWAY so we can get tickets!". Okay, so then I do. Right away, just like you asked. Then I send you a follow up to make sure you got it, then I send you a note saying hi, how are things, then I post to your wall a few days later, then a text a few days after that- okay look, I'm not stalking you. I'm not gonna open a vein because you won't talk to me, but seriously? When it's your problem, I gotta jump to prevent the earth being swallowed by the sun, but you can't spare .14 seconds to craft even a rudimentary emoticon in response??!! Sorry, I gotta say friend I love you but you suck.
Of course, phones get dropped in toilets, computers explode, people have life issues that (bizarrely) take them away from their devices. I understand completely. I am down with the need for quiet solitude and an escape from the constant buzz. That's what vacations, nights and weekends are for. That's why baby Jesus invented the out-of-office auto-reply and the "offline" status icon. You see, just as there are tools and behaviors appropriate to being online, so are there also allowances for being off line. But you have to OWN that. Be a hermit, fine. Resist technology, get angry and move to the mountains to grow hemp and have a great life off the grid. People do it. But ignoring or judging the way people are choosing to conduct their platonic interpersonal affairs because you don't agree or are too scared or lazy to learn is not my fault, nor am I responsible for teaching you. Though my rates are quite reasonable.
I'm sorry it's come to this, but if you can't give me a good reason why you can't or won't come into the second decade of the 21st Century with the rest of the known universe (seriously, teenagers in Zimbabwe know what Twitter is), well, I'm afraid I will have to unlike you.