Thursday, July 15, 2010


Yesterday, a good friend from Texas sent me an email and in it she asked if I text. And it’s interesting that she should bring that up, because I guess the answer is yes, I do text. Sort of. I only have two friends that text me, A and E. I don’t know if these two friends hate the sound of my voice and have become anti-email snobs, but in both cases, their main form of communication with me is texting. I know when I hear that beep, beep that it’s either A or E. If it’s A, the text could be about virtually anything; refrigerators, movies, his dinner companions’ table manners, human tracking devices, airplane maintenance issues. But if it’s a text from E, it’s a text about scheduling a game of tennis or basketball. Working out a time that she can beat me, which, now that I think about it, is her main form of communication with me.
Personally, I’m at whatever level comes before novice with this texting thing. I don’t know any texting shorthand beyond using u for you. But, I realize that there is an entire texting language out there that some people, especially teenagers I would imagine, are fluent in. I’m just not that kind of person. I don’t care what my phone, computer, digital cable box, etc. are capable of; I just want to know how to do the basics and carry on with my low-tech life. But, I have friends that utilize every feature their phone has to offer. It goes without saying that these friends are proficient texters, but they also take pictures and videos with their phones – instantly uploading those and sharing them with friends and loved ones around the world, they access the internet through their phones – just for kicks, so they can look up the twenty-eighth President of the United States or how much lime juice to put in their guacamole, and they’re always checking the weather – here and in Bangladesh. And, now, I think there may be cell phone features that let you toast a waffle, dice a tomato, and add creamer to your coffee (cell phone addicts are unanimously coffee addicts). I’m almost positive that my best friend’s husband could launch our nation’s nuclear warheads with his phone, and sometimes I wonder if that’s what he’s doing on there. But, I know if he did, he’d be getting updates on the destruction to his phone and showing all of us the live footage, so, for now, I think he’s just checking on his stock portfolio.
And I feel like when I’m with a prolific cell phone user, I could ask them anything and they’d pull out that phone, to consult with it. Okay, yeah, when I say, “Do you guys want to come over for dinner on Friday?” it makes sense that they would pull out the phone and consult the calendar. (I don’t even use the calendar feature and that may explain my reputation for double-booking and completely forgetting.) But when I say, “Do you have a band-aid?” I don’t understand them using the phone for their answer. Are they texting the answer to me? I’m right in front of them! Or, are they ordering the band-aids? I sort of needed it now, not in three to four business days.
There are other obstacles I need to overcome to become a certified texter. The first one is my phone doesn’t have a full keypad. I have a basic can’t-toast-your-waffles model, and it’s quite tedious to type out replies. It would be easier if I was a succinct and to the point person, but I’m not. Obviously. I live by a the-more-words-the-better code of communication, so texting is a bit of a chore for me. The other obstacle I have is that I get confused when the back and forth texting gets going really strong, like having a virtual conversation. I’ll be in the middle of typing my reply to one topic we’re discussing, and unbeknownst to me, my friend will be moving on to a new topic and preparing that text to send my way. Our messages fly past each other in outer space or wherever and then I read the next message “How are the kids?” and I just finally finished typing out and sending a text on our previous topic of my mosquito bites, saying, “They’re awful. The itching is driving me crazy!” So, now, I’m worried that my friend thinks that was my response to “How are the kids?” and, clearly, that wouldn’t have been my response to that. But, yeah, I text. Sort of.


  1. ok, glad i asked...i just replaced my 10 yr old cell phone (which was actually a temporary replacement for my 5 yr old one) and it has a keyboard! finally, i can reply to all those that text me and exist solely in the text-iverse...

    and ps, i don't know if i'll ever be from Texas, but i am ROTFLOL! (or i think so, at least.)

  2. I was amazed recently when I went to the Verizon store to explore options for upgrading my phone, and my options are pretty much either a crap phone with no features, or one with more whistles and bells than I'd ever use. Unless, of course, that phone was the iPhone. [want very much, but not willing to switch networks for it]. AND to add insult to injury, customers are now required to buy the data plan for these fancy-shmancy phones, and I probably wouldn't even use the features that require said plan. What gives? Isn't there a middle line for a girl to walk?

  3. @natals, you should get the Droid X from Verizon. It came out today. It's the Verizon version of the iPhone. You don't have to pay for the the data plan, but you won't get internet if you don't.

    Heather, I think you are better at texting than you think. You did well responding to me when we came up last week. AND you can get really fast with a "regular" keypad if you learn to use the "word" setting and not the "abc".

    You will all have to come around at some point. Your kids are going to be using this stuff soon (if they aren't already) and you will be totally in the dark if you don't try to keep up a little bit!