The Ping is the Thing (are you receiving me?)

The Ping is the Thing

It’s not like I’m waiting for a reply. Not exactly. Well… Let’s be honest.

When you send that message you’d like the receiver to at least acknowledge the ping. With my kids (now 19 and 21) just a smiley face would do. Nothing? Agony. Nothing for several days? Anger. “Hey, dad, sorry I missed this one.” Bullshit.

We use ping for so many moments in our lives. Good ones. PING! Scary ones. PING PING. It’s the human equivalent of a bat’s sonar clicks. PING! (listening) PINGBACK.

Is my life falling apart? Am I loved? Is my girlfriend real or just imaginary? PING. PING. PING.

And even in business, there are pings. Mostly in the form of emails or slacks. Are you still there? Are you still working? I see your little green light is on, but are you ON? PING.

When we ping into a vacuum we can get disoriented. There is no pingback, ever. And it’s hard, for some of us more empathetic and insecurely-attached people, when the pingback doesn’t come soon enough. Or ever. We must resist the dreaded RePING.

I’m here, I’m pinging you, right now. I need to know I’m being heard. “Just nod if you can hear me,” they say in Comfortably Numb. Just a little ping would mean so much to me right now. Not like a crisis over here, though, just not getting the attention I need from the two pups passed out on the couch. It’s too damn hot for any of us to go out this fkn August, in Texas.

Forget about it.


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