SMS as a Christmas message - Pros and ConsIt’s only 160 characters long but already twenty years old, the best of all possible communication formats to some and for others a sheer annoyance: the text message, which has permanently liberated the act of writing from the desk, is also a favourite for holiday greetings. “Merry Christmas” via text message - are you for or against it?
The pros of text messages
Do you consider text messages impersonal, infantile, insignificant? I do too. But whether you want to accept it or not: The text message has managed to become a well-used tool for just about any life situation. It lets us know about delays, it comforts and congratulates, can be sad, funny, or contemplative. There are even stories of relationships being ended with text messages.
Let’s leave aside whether this is good or bad. Smart and modern people use the tools available to them to save time, money and their sanity. Especially around Christmas, a celebration that is already demanding enough.
Let Miss Manners frown on it all she wants, I won’t get any grey hairs over this and will send my cheerful Christmas wishes as a quick text. Admittedly, sending out multiple instances of the same message does make me feel a little guilty. But sometimes the end does justify the means. I’m sure that even Jesus would have opted to use more modern communication tools to spread his message.
And anyway - in the battle of the "text message vs. family photo Christmas card" (maybe even with reindeer sweaters…), my note definitely wins hand down. Because what it wants to say is simple but nice: I’m thinking of you, I’m wishing you a wonderful holiday, see you soon, be good.
This may not seem particularly personal, but - hold on to your hat – that’s how communication works. My co-workers’ "good morning" isn’t very original either, but it would be strange if they would never say it. The same holds true for the Christmas SMS - more is more .
The cons of text messages
"We need some nice, Christmas-y reading material again, people!" was the enthusiastic request at the editorial meeting in November. "Why don’t we collect a few funny ideas about the pros and cons of sending text messages for Christmas?" suggested my fellow writer across from me.
No sooner said than done. Sure enough, I ended up with the "cons", and since then the SMS acronym - which could easily stand for SensoMotoric dySfunction - has been burning a hole in my mind.
Despite all efforts, I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit yet. So I think to myself, "let’s see what GOOGLE has to say!" and land at ...... SMSGOD.de !
Well, if that isn’t a sign! I only googled "SMS" once and already found the highest of all beings. How on earth do those nerds in California do it? With connections like that, nothing surprises me anymore. Even twenty hours of confirmation lessons didn’t get me to the goal this quickly.
Since I already reached the HIGHEST OF ALL BEINGS, I decide I had better get a little more serious about this topic and finally hit upon the real question: when is the right time to send an XMAS SMS? Unless you’re one of those impatient people who remind their friends early in the morning on Christmas day that they need to get up because there will be something to celebrate, the best choice for spreading the cheerful message is in the afternoon hours. But this also entails risks: if it’s sent too early, it might interrupt the most festive moment. Or the iPhone ringtone might shatter the harmony at the ceremonious dinner table. If it’s sent in the late evening hours, however, it might just seem as if you had forgotten it...
As you can see, this dilemma is hard to solve, unless you abstain from sending a rude group message and instead make the effort to wish each one of your friends a Merry Christmas with a loving text at the individually appropriate time - with the risk that you’ll be late for your own meeting with Father Christmas.
That is why I’m using this opportunity to apologise to everyone who might have been silently angry with me for the last few years because they never heard from me - I do love you, people! - but sorry, I’d rather send my SMS on New Year’s Eve. Then I’ll know exactly when the best time has come.
SMSGOD will forgive me. And it’s none of Google’s business anyway.