Existing under some ‘ding’ and ‘ping’ pressure

I find myself living to some degree under what I call “ping pressure.”

Better Half refers to it as “ding.”

Maybe it’s the difference in the way males and females hear sounds.

At any rate, it’s the noise my cell phone makes when something’s going on, and it’s trying to get my attention.


Ding!!! (If I’m not in the same room as my phone — can you imagine that! — Better Half will bring it to me and announce, “Your phone is dinging.”)

And that’s important, by golly.

That means something is happening!!!

The sky is falling!!!

The world is ending!!!

Elvis is alive!!!

Well, maybe I exaggerate a tad here but that ping or that ding is an audible alert about something or other that allegedly warrants my attention. Now! Immediately! Sooner than later! Hurry up!

I am ashamed to say I have this drop-everything response to pings and dings for the most part because I’m a curious person (nibby might even be an appropriate synonym here) and, quite honestly, I’ve gotta’ know what all the dinging and pinging is about.

I regret to confess that the very technology designed to simplify my life only further drains the life right out of it.

It’s not saving me any time because now I have to heed and process all kinds of alerts and then decide what to do with all this information.


It was way easier when I was growing up in a pingless, dingless, no cell phone or Facebook kind of world. There were alerts, to be sure, that got your attention and demanded immediate action, like my dad’s clear, strong, intense whistle.

It was a pure and simple noise that packed a powerful message. Get home!! Now!!

The phone pings, though, are as varied as they are plentiful.

There are all the news alerts, not to mention the weather ones. Those kill me.

“Rain starting in 20 minutes.”

Suddenly I feel panicky about that. I actually catch myself catching my breath. Rain! Oh goodness gracious! Where is my umbrella? Wait a minute. I’m not going outside anyway.

I get a lot of text pings, including in group conversations where I forget who all is commenting because I don’t immediately recognize their numbers.

Who sent that smiley face?

Sometimes a ding and a ping is a notification about who’s celebrating a birthday on any given day.

On some days it’s a lot of people you spend time sending a virtual greeting to, and those get followed up with a thank you or a thumbs up or some emoji you feel obligated to keep ping-pong responding to.

Rules of etiquette — does a thank-card card warrant a thank-you card? The stuff of a “Seinfeld” episode, I suppose.

And then there’s the ping related to online yard sale groups. Something new has been posted. Never mind that it’s not something I need, it’s too much and it’s an hour away. The ping gets my attention.

Now I could be very bold here and turn off my phone. Or I could silence it. There would be not more pinging and dinging.

But what if Elvis really is alive?

I’d really be “all shook up.”


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