Prune Juice: An Exploration on Conversing Over Space and Media

“I overthink your p-punctuation use. Not my fault, just a thing that my mind do.”  -The louvre by Lorde

Timing your snapchat replies to your crush with mathematical equation, the perfect ratio of ‘seens,’ use of bitmojis, and looking candid.

I once played secretary of press as my mate asked me if she looked cute enough, “but not like I’m trying too hard…no wait can you take it again… actually never mind I’ll do it myself…where should I position the text? Over my face, or in the middle.”

“Nah just leave it where it naturally falls so it’s looks like you didn’t just spend half an hr taking the same photo in the same position,”

“Right, yeah also I’ll make it sound like I’m asking a whole bunch of people to the movies but it’s just him. Yeah, ha that’s brilliant.”

2. Repeating the same process on facebook messenger, over text. Scientific formulas to open ended questions, the number of hahahahas, lols, and <3 emojis dropped in. To heart react or to angry react?

Remember how Gatsby believed in the green light, “the unattainable dream,” and half the novel you read for NCEA English was about Leonardo diCaprico staring at that green light across the dock. I developed a similar kind of attachment to the green light icon on messenger. It meant that they were online… they were available. Except not really, because I didn’t have the balls to actually chat anyone up. Slide into the dm’s with thinly veiled questions about this week’s assignment.

This isn’t new. This isn’t some millennial fascination with technology, urgency and fragmented relationships. I can promise you the baby boomers probably did the same thing with the number of telephone rings just dressed in big hair and leather pants. Even further back, some Romeo out there overthought a reply to Juliet with perfumed love letters and sonnets. Sappho must have over analysed something or other.

3. But now I’m an adult. Who doesn’t really know how to email their lecturer. 

It’s a new academic year. I’m not a nervous first year anymore. And it’s about time I know how to send professional emails. I’ve had my serious email address for a while now, making that shift from classics such as magicalmoonlight@hotmail.com (don’t try to email me I’ve long forgotten the password) to various combinations of my first and last name followed by gmail.com.

I’m in a rock and a hard place. Do I begin with: Hey John! Hello John Smith, Heya ya boi Jono,

All sound terrible. And how about ending the email? I sound like an idiot when I say:

Many thanks,

Sherry

When I’ve spent the whole rest of the email already thanking them for office hours.

I’m trying to suck up, but not that hard. And Sincerely and faithfully, what’s the difference?  And then after the thank you, they reply with “All the best, Happy to help”. Do I keep going? Do I go “thank you for replying to my thank you”?

4. Today I tried to network: emailing amazing powerful successful woman in their chosen career, knowing I’ll be lucky to get automated reply.

My friend and I discussed it. I was going to email her from my serious email, not my @aucklanduni.ac.nz email. I was half in love with her, I’m not going to name who she is because that’s shooting myself in the foot.

DO YOU REMMEBER THAT 30 SECOND CONVO WE HAD THAT TIME WELL I’M IN LOVE WITH U, AND I REALLY LOOK UP TO U. UR CONFIDENCE AND PASSION IN UR CHOSEN INDUSTRY, AND I JUST WANT TO LEARN EVERYTHING FROM YOU. I WILL BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO JUST GRAB YOUR COFFEE, ARRANGE YOUR PAPER CLIPS IN COLOUR ORDER, ANYTHING.

HERE IS MY CV PLUS AN ACROSTIC POEM OF YOUR NAME!!!111!

5. But honestly tinder is the best lesson I’ve had in just doing, just replying rather than overthinking.

It means nothing, there are so many possible matches. You might as well chuck in something wacky, or use the classic “cute dog” opener. It doesn’t matter if they reply or don’t, you’ll never see them again. Even if you did, you probably wouldn’t even recognise them. Ghosting is expected, I do it and you do it. Does it matter? Not really, we’re all busy. Except when it’s 1am on a quiet night.

And then it’s the next morning.

And we’ll never talk again. Or maybe we will, and I’ll chuck you a cute Gif.