As traditional Islamic edict states, one can abdicate their marriage by simply saying the phrase “I divorce you” three times in succession (yes, like Candyman and Bloody Mary). But traditional Islamic edict obviously failed to take into account those loopholin’ Malaysians. The year was 2001; the swelter from a Malaysian July is diligently punishing the topography, and its people. Luckily, they’ve had air conditioning for some time now in Malaysia. Due to their close proximity to Singapore, Malaysians have enjoyed the fruits of the digital age for decades. One such fruit is text messaging. Proving that all men are indeed created equal, an increasing number of husbands begin to divorce their wives in the traditional Islamic way–only this time, via text messaging. The genius lies in the fact that you can avoid dramatic confrontation with the Mrs., but still ‘technically’ communicate to her your desire for greener panties, pastures, I meant pastures. But wait a minute, here comes the fun police, aka, the Malaysian Government, with a declaration that text message divorces are not valid. A stern blow to passive aggressive men everywhere. Luckily, the Government later amended this law in 2003, stating that as long as the text message was “clear and unequivocal” (i.e. “I divorce you” instead of “I divorce U 🙁 ”) then digital breakups were acceptable. So it is with this silky segue that I bring up my topic of discussion, the text messaging phenomenon as it pertains to recruiting.
(All together now, “thank you Wikipedia!”)
The digital divide is cruel in its exclusiveness. While teens and twenty-somethings scribe away on their key pads, their parents look on in puzzlement. As my old man says, “why take the time to punch it in when you can just call and say it?” My answer is always the same: “Why call and say it when you can just punch it in?” Indeed, as the Malaysians and Kelvin Sampson have taught us, text messaging is an increasingly common, and effective, way to communicate. Why not? It’s relatively quick and seamless, unobtrusive, concise, and void of any awkwardness. After all, the hazards associated with drunk dialing are simply not worth it in the end; texting under the influence is fun, and cute–each new message like an unwrapped Christmas present.
If you’ve followed the art of high school recruiting for the past few years, you’re probably aware that coaches have taken notice of this phenomenon, and are using texting to their advantage. The odds that Tubby Smith and David Hobbes know how to compose and send a text message are astronomical, and Reggie Hanson’s texting acumen is probably similar to his anything acumen, as the incomparable Chris Tomlin dissected in this post. Consequently, Kentucky lands the likes of Adam Williams (no wireless coverage in West Virginia), Woo (no phones in Poland), and Razor Ramon (come on, it’s freaking Alaska).
Bring in Billy Clyde Gillispie, whose been rumored to have the quickest thumb this side of Bloomington. Instantly, Coach Clyde snags a 16-year-old phenom for the class of 09. My guess? The whole recruitment was administered via text message and Facebook Pokes. Looking back on it, the news of Billy Donovan staying at Florida was scooped on text messages he’d sent to recruits prior to the Final Four. And I’m pretty sure The White House is handling their Mideast peace talks via Blackberry. Why not? You try having a phone conversation with Ahmadinejad, it’s brutal, he says “bye” like 5 different times.
It’s the way of the world folks; time for you non-texters to jump on board. You stubbornly stuck to your landlines as the world went cellular and online. Now you’re caught with one of those archaic long distance bills, not to mention miles upon miles of entangled cord. Try it out, appreciate all its subtleties, and realize that if it’s good enough for Coach Clyde and the Malaysians, its damn sure good enough for you.
Suggested readings— Outside the Lines: Text Appeal