Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Text Messaging

      I admit it--I would never have started "texting" unless/until my own grandchildren starting texting me first.  Of course, that made me have to learn! Who doesn't want to talk with her grandchildren, even at the cost of learning a new technology?  Ever since then I have been a big fan of this quick and easy way to communicate.  I use it a lot, with everyone in my family and my friends--at least those who are not too stuck in the past to try something new, like I once was.  (You Know Who You Are!)

Here is what I personally LIKE about text messaging:
1.   It is a fast and easy way to send a message.  Short, and quick.  To me it combines the advantages of email and Twitter: conversations are usually to the point (Do you want onions on your burger?")--no time wasted on poetic license.

2.  You usually get a quick response without the delay of waiting until someone FINALLY gets around to sitting down and reading emails--which with some people (You Know Who You Are!) could take days on end.  The world could have ended by then, making your email irrelevant.

BUT, on the other hand, here is what I DO NOT like about texting:

1.   Sometimes the abbreviations used are hard to decipher.  (I was never good at reading hieroglyphics.)

2.   Especially for younger folks, it seems to contribute to the "dumbing down" of America.  No one needs to know how to use proper spelling or grammar--not a good thing!

3.   Texting requires typing on teeny-tiny phone keypads, which are never large enough to avoid constant misspellings, therefore making it more difficult to convey what you are actually trying to say.  It does NOT help when the phone starts trying to figure out what you were trying to say and substitutes a totally WRONG word for you, instead.  Example: We asked a friend one evening if he and his wife wanted to go to the movies with us.  He texted to ask his wife about it, but it came out on her end as, "Wanna see boobies?"

4.   Sometimes texting becomes so distracting that you actually find yourself--like I did recently--sitting next to a friend while you are both talking to someone else on your phone.  This is not togetherness!

5.  You can be tempted to text while you drive.  NEVER do this!  (As I have--duh!!!)

6.   Texting--in a long conversation, especially--takes WAY too much time and attention.  While you are on the phone you can use your Bluetooth or earbuds and keep talking while you are doing other things with your hands.  Like making the bed, or unloading the dishwasher, or folding the laundry.  You can do two things at once, thus not wasting time while chatting.  Not with texting--you must stop and use your hands to text.  Then you must stop to read what was written back.  Multiple times.

7.   IMO, (that means "In My Opinion", by the way; I'm just showing off) texting is NOT A GOOD WAY TO HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION.  In fact, it is a HORRIBLE way to try to have a real conversation, rather than communicating a quick thought.  Why?  For example, this morning a friend who prefers to text rather than talk on the phone (You Know Who You Are!) started texting me and texting photos of her recent Goodwill Ebay scores--nice.  So I send her some texts and texted photos of my own recent scores in return.  Okay so far, but THEN the inevitable starts happening; everything starts getting jumbled up and confusion reigns, and ultimately practically breaks out into a brawl.
      While I am talking to her about one thing she is texting back and talking about something else.  I send her photos of a Red Wing pitcher with the words, "Red Wing."  Then I send her two pics of a gorgeous Italian pottery moon face with the words, "I think from Italy," in between them.  Then she writes back, "No, I'm sure it's made in the USA."  I say, "No, Italy," thinking she is talking about the other pottery.  She starts arguing with me why she KNOWS that Red Wing is a USA product.  Instead of repeating everything I write back that she should read what I already wrote.  While all of this is going on in regards to several different topics, other distractions are mentioned, thus muddying the waters even more.  The more the conversation gets jumbled the more exasperated I am getting with the whole process. (Please re-read point #6 above!)  I'm trying to get a lot of things done and I keep having to stop and type answers.  The longer this goes on, the more I am starting to CAPITALIZE WORDS AND USE #+!!%#&***!!!
      Then my friend finally decides it would be best to try to actually talk on the PHONE, and she calls me.  But I don't answer because in the meantime I have just poured myself a big bowl of Cheerios with milk, and I do NOT like soggy Cheerios.  So now she starts texting me, "Why aren't you answering your phone???" and "Call Me--I know that Red Wing was made in the US!", "Let's talk on the PHONE!"
     Really? Maybe we should have done that in the first place?


  1. I remember when my teenager received her first cell phone and we had to have a long discussion about why it wasn't kind, considerate, or appropriate to text anyone during church, when someone is trying to have a conversation with you in person, or when we're at the dinner table. I love technology (when it's functioning), but I also love good manners :)

    1. Oh that every parent would do that! Manners seem to be so out of fashion anymore, sadly.

  2. I totally have a love-hate relationship with my phone! I love when it is there for my convenience, but hate that the world has instant access to me! (and then I feel obligated to answer right away) Texting is very cool, though... isn't it?

    1. Yes, I agree it's cool. :-) And the good thing about all of it is that you don't really have to answer until/unless you want to!

  3. But I can tell whether you've read my text