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Friday, December 26, 2008

Myspace Migration: I Want Your Text

... so, my family is, at this moment, debating the merits of texting. Why do people text? This is coming up because I've exchanged around 200 text messages in the last few days, all with my best friend and one other person. Dad doesn't get it - "Why not just call each other?" he asks. My Dad maintains that it's a sub-culture that exists for gen X and Y to keep people Baby Boomer generation and older out of the loop. Nerd.

My brother said it's better than having a phone conversation - I think my 'bff' (that was the buzzword of the week with my kids btw, lol) would agree with this?? He doesn't want the commitment of the phone call, he can just say a statement and keep it on track. You can text anywhere; you don't have to be decent (or for some, sober).

There are, of course, medical reasons - cerebral palsy, speech impediments, accents - ok, I get ALL of those. Here's how texting tends to work in my life. I have one friend that does it because she HATES talking on the phone. There's others that do it/have done it to let me know I'm on their mind (not going to lie, I'm ok with that ). Sometimes, it's just more convenient due to what's going on around me - in a meeting, so I have the kids text me or something like that. I often will text with people when they're out of town because they don't want to completely leave their fam/friends/whomever to talk on the phone. My favorite? Is at the club. I have hearing loss, so I can't hear for spit when I'm in a club/crowded place. So, I have a tendancy to text rather than try to shout it out. Also great when you're sick and live in a multi-story home.

Here's where I start to get a little lost on texting - when your entire relationship seems to center around the cell phone text. I guess online via email is a similar phenomenon. One should not have serious discussions via text. First declarations of love, major arguments, reconciliations, and goodness forgive break-ups... not text discussions. There are things that deserve face-to-face conversations. It's a respect thing for the person with whom you are in (or were in) a relationship with. I've also noticed a phenomenon where people in my life seem to be a little braver with both me (and others) via text.. saying things they wouldn't say face-to-face. Only thing that makes that better is if they add "jk lol" after it. (1)

And what about the safety issue of it? There are a lot of cities that are now banning texting from school zones. You know what I have to say about that? It's about freaking time. Seriously, we have ZERO business texting while driving down the road. I don't like it. I get it at red lights, but driving down the road? I'm challenged enough without having to figure out how to watch the road, steer and focus on the tiny letters on my blackjack. :/ Is there a voice-to-text application - that'd be safer, if you were using a bluetooth.

On the funny side, when do you think that texting will replace 1900 numbers? Someone mentioned today they received an email from an 817 phone number. Ok, so you can text-to-email ludeness, why not just replace phone sex with text sex? Then men in Brooklyn won't have to pretend that they're women from South Carolina while talking to some strange dude in Boise for $3.99 per minute about their 'love machines.' But, were you to engage in such behaviors of debauchery, I would strongly suggest you clean out your text folders prior to someone else seeing them. I have a neighbor who handed me her phone once so I could go through her texts to get this pic someone had sent from our kids' school. What I ended up finding was (I hope) her husband's private parts, in XXX form. When I recoiled, she laughed and said she traded pics with all sorts of people (we'll not discuss the inappropriateness of that, as it falls under the category of 'to each their own'). In sinstances like that, I think your phone should come with a warning label like:

However you use it, or don't, clearly text isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But I'm hoping it doesn't replace the phone call, either... I kind of like hearing voices just as much (well, more) than reading words. ;)

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