The art of the text message

Posted: October 4, 2007 in Uncategorized

Call me crazy … CRAZY … but what is up with text messaging? Don’t get me wrong. I am as caught up in it as anyone, but how is it that “texting” has become such a part of our culture?

Growing up, when I was old enough to drive, it was part of “my deal” with my parents that I would call them when I arrived at my destination. All my friends knew that. If I would be driving to their house, I’d better call my mom and dad when I got there. It was that agreed upon “phone call” that would allow me to do other things. It was my responsibility to stay in touch with the parental units. It was simply the rule.

Nowadays, we have a million ways to communicate with our kids when they are away from home. Phones, text messages, instant messaging, etc. It’s insane.

Chelsea knows that we bought her a phone several years ago so that we could reach her – anytime – anywhere. Now, most of our communication on that phone seems to come in the form of text messages.

Many of them go like this:

Chelsea: (to me) Hello gorgeous

Me: So, what is it this time?

Chelsea: Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?

Me: If you don’t tell me what you want, the answer will be no.

Chelsea: Pweeeeeeeeeease let me stay out one more hour! You are gorgeous!

Ever seen a text message exchange like that one? If you are the parent of a teen and haven’t, YOU WILL!

I am embarrassed – EMBARRASSED I say – to tell you how much we text message around my house. And it’s not just Chelsea. Our entire family is on the verge of needing therapy to help us deal with our text messaging addictions.

Joe and I have phones with “qwerty” keyboards – making texting easy for old toads like us. Joe and I manage to text more than we talk these days, as I spend much of my workday in meetings. It is a nice, unobtrusive way of communicating, I guess.

Chelsea’s phone also has qwerty keys, that is not how she uses it. Believe it or not, she can text message faster than I can type this blog, by punching the number keys on her phone! I mean she is like greased lightning…. faster than a speeding bullet … you get the picture.

It truly is an art, I suppose. On top of it all, Chelsea hardly EVER looks at the keys. She multi-tasks. Talks, types, watches TV and downloads music to her iPod – all at the same time.

Now, if she could just text while cleaning her room, making her bed, doing her homework and filling out those college applications!

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