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Didn’t you get my message? (Or I don’t know what’s ringing, beeping, pinging anymore!)


One morning when I thought I was on top of everything, a friend emailed me to ask, “Didn’t you get my Voxer message?”

Lately I am having trouble communicating. Every device I have seems to be ringing or beeping or pinging on an increasing number of platforms. By the time I figure out where those pings are coming from, far too often I am too late to respond.

My son who works abroad uses WhatsApp. Some of my friends regularly connect with me via Facetime.

Friends and colleagues send me voice messages or reach me walkie-talkie style using Voxer (an app designed for teams).

I have four email boxes.

Some of my grad students don’t really like email and connect with me only in our course shell. Some prefer to text me.

When my landline rings, it’s either a solicitation or one of a handful of older relatives.

I get pings for web chats on both Skype and Hangouts (there, increasingly, from annoying and strange men.)

And friends remind me of the messages I missed on Facebook or the DMs I miss on Twitter.

I’m the first one to celebrate the range of options we now have to communicate, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to figure out what’s ringing.

It’s just a tiny bit before my time, but this scene brings fond memories of the once-upon-a-time focus offered by my pink princess phone.


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Michelle Simms says

    Thanks for sharing this Joyce. It’s always nice to hear one of your heroes is having the same problems as you. If I spend too long on one platform the others often suffer. Balancing attending to my communication channels with actually doing work and living my life is increasingly hard.

  2. So true! I was surprised when I missed some simple text messages today. Pink princess phone! Ah the memories… 🙂

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