(By which of course I mean outdated.)
Evan and I got into a heated discussion last night about (this is almost excruciating to admit) the social protocols of using Gmail Chat or other online chat forums.
I treat Chat more or less as if it were a phone conversation. You call someone (or answer a call), you give it your full attention (or at least partial attention), and when it's done you end it. You say what you have to say, you say you have to go, you say goodbye, whatever. It's a wrap.
Evan, though only a couple years younger than me, thinks about online chatting as if it were one continuous ongoing thing. There is often no hello or goodbye, no beginning and ending, no formality or recognition that it can be or should be or is a finite thing.
I know in my head that his way is the modern way, the more common way, of thinking about these things. My brother is the same, as are most of the other people with whom I chat online now and again.
Yet it irks me so. I like hellos and goodbyes. I like to know that a conversation has reached its completion, that questions have been answered, that the exchange of words -- whether mere pleasantries or more meaningful conversation or simple sharing of information -- has fulfilled all that it was supposed to fulfill.
I do not do well with change; I am not fluid or flexible about, well, much of anything. But I guess one of the things about dating an adorable hippie internet geek is that you have to absorb at least a little bit of that which makes him all hippie internetty geeky. (And learn to not take it so personally when there isn't a formal goodbye.)