PunkyBrister68: What should I write my column about?
Megarde05: I dunno. Halloween?
PunkyBrister68: I did that last week. Didn’t you see it?
Megarde05: Nope. What’d you say?
PunkyBrister68: That everyone dresses like sluts.
Megarde05: Nice.
PunkyBrister68: I know… maybe I could write about Jews.
Megarde05: You and Judaism. You’ll risk retribution.
PunkyBrister68: They’re quite powerful, you know. God’s chosen people and all… Could you turn that up?
Megarde05: The movie?
PunkyBrister68: Yeah.
Megarde05: You’re closer.
PunkyBrister68: You have the remote.
Megarde05: Do not.
PunkyBrister68: You do so.
Megarde05: Do fucking not.

At this point in the conversation, I turn my head and say to my roommate, who is sitting at the desk not two feet away from me, “Do fucking so.” As of this past Sunday, there are 38 members of the UCSB Facebook group devoted to those who talk over AIM to their roommates when they are within a few feet of each other. Neither my roommate nor I are members of this organization, but we might as well be co-presidents.

Being an avowed English major, I’m not really qualified to talk about the comparison between the energy spent in verbally expressing something versus manually typing it, but I suspect that the AIM/roomie syndrome has less to do with laziness than it has to do with man’s pension for novelty.

I say things to my roommate all the time: “Where’s the remote?” “Have you seen my notebook?” “Would you quit passing out on the bathroom floor?” But on those occasions when my computer is within reach, I get to speak in an entirely different vocabulary. If I want to, I can Google a picture that better expresses what I’m trying to say than words alone can do. I can send an MP3 of that song I’m talking about as opposed to trying to re-enact the music with my complete lack of musical skill.

On top of the novelty aspect, there is – of course – the added benefit of not having to participate in direct human interaction.

Let’s face it, actually having to look someone in the face while talking to them is pretty overrated. Dealing with all those social conventions that have been hammered into us since conception is getting kind of old. Now that we have the technology, why not go ahead and do away with staid conversational convention?

In fact, I think we’ll all be better off when we are able to do away with direct human interaction altogether.

So, bring on the androids into which we can implant our collective consciousnesses!

Megarde05: What are you doing?
PunkyBrister68: Finishing my column.
Megarde05: What’s it about?
PunkyBrister68: Umm… I’m not really sure, actually.
Megarde05: Figures. You’re so lame.
PunkyBrister68: Fuck you, man. And turn up the volume: It’s almost to the oogie boogie part.
Megarde05: I told you I don’t have the damn remote!

Daily Nexus columnist Bri Lafond still can’t find a matching pair of shoes.