Monday, February 6, 2012

Learning to Text

Yes, folks, I'm one of the last to learn the seemingly innate skill (at least among young people) of Texting. I'm a person whose life does not revolve around my cell phone, and although I carry one for emergencies, I often don't even turn it on unless I need it.

But I noticed a strange phenomena. Texting was becoming a new language. I've met quite a few people lately with an intense aversion to actually speaking on their cell phones, and in fact, will not even answer a call from a number they don't recognize. Oh, how paranoid we've all become. Texting (which can be identified, and answered or replied to when it is convenient) has become the language of choice among a large segment of our population. And I found that by not learning to text, I was not in on the conversation.

Of course, I carried an antiquated cell phone with no texting package. So I hopped right over to my cellular carrier and got a new, upgraded (yes, I know it's not a really cool phone, and not a smart phone - don't laugh) phone with a QWERTY keyboard. Similar to this one:

(If you don't know what a Qwerty keyboard is, look at the five letters on the top left-hand side of a computer keyboard.) Yes! I thought. I can do this. I'm good on a keyboard, and besides being a writer, I've been a piano player since the first grade. My hands just fly across a keyboard.

So with my new slide-out keyboard (I can't do the touch screen function very well) I am learning to text. With two thumbs.

I feel so . . . so modern!!

But more than that, I can see the advantages that texting has to conversation. I can text someone a short message when they are at work or at a party, when I wouldn't dare risk a phone call. It's a non-obtrusive method of getting in touch with someone.

So pat me on the shoulder for learning a new skill - one that many of you already take for granted. Yeah, never say never. Believe it or not, though, I can't let myself make grammatical mistakes on the darn thing. I still have do search to find the darn comma, apostrophe, and period. Seriously.

So tell me, do YOU text??


Natalie Keller Reinert said...

I text exclusively. Or tweet. But I don't answer my phone for a very good reason... it's usually a wrong number. OR.. I'm doing something else and I don't want to switch focus and listen to whatever the caller wants me to focus on.

The thing I hate about telephone *calls* is that they bully in on your time, when you might very well be doing something else important, and say THIS CONVERSATION IS IMPORTANT AND MUST HAPPEN NOW. Well, how often is the case?

Texting, I think, is more polite. I can glance at a text, or not, and reply when I am ready to focus on the conversation.

That being said, last week I had a 45-minute, completely unexpected phone call from a Twitter friend that was absolutely delightful. I was probably looking for an excuse not to work, though.

Dreaming said...

Hooray for you! My hubby just learned to text, too. Up until a few weeks ago he had texting turned off on his plan.
I also like texting as, like Natalie indicated, it is less intrusive. My only problem is that so many people try to text and drive. I lost a good friend that way.

Jean Philo said...

Good for you, Linda! I finally gave up and added texting to my phone. I'm not very good at it, and like you, I can't stand to make a typing mistake so it takes me longer than it should to write a message. But I must say that I love my Smart Phone. I can read my e-mail, play Words with Friends, read books on my Kindle app. Oh, and I can find out the price of gasoline at Costco AND on our vacation last summer the GPS in the phone found cheap gas for us along the highway. For a senior citizen this is all very fascinating.

Linda Benson said...

Natalie and Dreaming - yes, what finally won me over to texting is that I could see the advantages of communicating that way instead of calling, in certain instances. But it does have its disadvantages, because just like email, you don't have voice inflection, so you constantly have to write LOL or *grin* or something, to get your intention across.

And Dreaming, I'm so sorry about your friend. It is so tempting to look at your phone every time it makes an alert noise and want to answer back immediately. But not while driving. No.

Jeannie - you have a smart phone with GPS. I'm so impressed! Good for traveling, though, I know. I am slowly being dragged into the modern age, whether I like it or not. haha

Maggie Dana said...

Linda ... I emailed you just now with a postscript about getting in touch ... via phone! And then I read your blog. I have an old cell phone and I don't text. I don't even turn it on unless I need to use it, which is rarely.

As for people who drive and text at the same time ... words fail me. It's as dangerous as driving and drinking.