Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fighting With Text Messaging

This morning I got a text message from a friend asking me how I was. I thought about replying and then I decided against it. I think the text messaging era is out of control.

People are calling each other less and less. I can't tell you how many text messages I receive asking "how I am" because the person is too busy or lazy to pick up the phone.

I was talking to my 17 year old babysitter about this whole text messaging explosion. I asked her if she thought it was a generational thing? Are teenagers texting more than adults? She said that she spends all night texting with her friends. Her dad asked her why she doesn't bother to call her buddies, she says it's faster to text.

I suppose this texting all night is the equivalent of when I used to stay up all night talking on the phone with my high school boyfriend.

But the crazy thing is that people don't spend all night on the phone with one another anymore. This practice is antiquated.

And forget real life interactions. Seeing someone face to face? Are you kidding me? Who has time for that?

I have to admit, I have done things over text messaging that I am ashamed of. I have had actual FIGHTS over text messaging. I believe this is partly to do with the fact that I am in an inter-generational relationship. Wil is 25 and I am 30. I am of the phone generation, he is of the text generation. I had to compromise.

But I have a love hate relationship with texting. I like that it is easy to do. You can communicate a point simply, directly. However, with the advent of texting people have stopped talking to each other.

And now I present to you Old School/New School Mom's List of Inappropriate and Appropriate uses of text messaging:

I'm sure I'm guilty of everything on these lists.

Inappropriate Uses of Text Messaging
1. Fighting - Fighting over text messaging usually ends in disaster. Tone does not exist in text messaging land. So whatever you type to someone will most likely be misconstrued.
2. Advice- If you ask me for advice via text message, I am so long-winded, that I cannot possibly condense my brilliance into a text message.
3. Forwards- Please stop sending me "Send this to 10 people that you love or something terrible will happen."
4. "How are you?" Just call me.

This being said, I am an extremely inappropriate text messager, and have been known to send this very text message "I'm pregnant!"

Appropriate of Uses of Text Messaging
1. Quiet Public Institutions- When you are in a place that is noticeably silent and need to communicate an important message- a doctor's office, the library, essentially a place where if you made a call people would look at you funny.
2. Meeting Up- Example "I'm on the corner of 23rd and 3rd, where are you?" "I'm running late!"
3. When it may be too early/late to call- You're not sure if the person is awake. "Can I call you?"

What do you think? Have you or someone you know fought over text messaging? Are you a texter or a talker?

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  1. Well as far as all things technology goes, I get an F in texting. I never really do it much so I am very slow. I do like it though. And I think when I am back in the US my husband and I will probably do it some.

    I am also a little unaware of how often people text because I am over here and don't get out all that

    Now in high school we had pagers. That was like primative

    I wonder if you would get more text messages from a friend that you would have phone calls a few years back? I am also thinking as busy moms maybe it is easier to text if you want to talk with friends during the day?

  2. Yeah, I've definitely violated the OS/NS Mom rules of inappropriate texting more than a dozen times.

    Sometimes though, the "how are you" text pops out because I'm in between classes but the person who's on the receiving end s on my mind and I want to check up on them quick fast. But I think it's then only appropriate tho follow up witha text message.

    At my most inapproriate, I had a whole break-up /get back together over text. True story.

  3. YES! I was recently talking about this and offered the exact same three situations in which texting is appropriate. (p.s. it is NOT appropriate to make plans with one's ex-turned-friend while in the bed of the current lover. Am I right or right?)

  4. I do not like talking on the phone. At all. I never have (even when it was the only option). I seriously have problems paying attention. So, texting is perfect for me. I can respond when I am ready and there is no real pressure for immediate response.

    My preferred 'texting' option is Blackberry Messenger (BBM) 'cause it is not limited by characters. My brother and I have conversations by BBM and Skype chat all day... but as soon as you get us on the phone, it's awkward.

    My family and friends know that the best way to get ahold of me is text or online. My mom sends me Facebook messages and Twitter DMs 'cause she knows I'll respond sooner than if she left a voicemail.

    That said, I always prefer in person. If there is anything emotional to be said (fighting, etc), I do it in person.

  5. Donna- I, too, am guilty of most everything on that list. I can totally see the break up story happening! But, as always, I believe the "?" is the text message best of all time.

    XyXy- You hit it on the nose! Now once you leave the bed, that's a different story ;)

    Sarah- Yes, in person is ultimately the best choice. But I hear what you're saying, ADD should be considered.

  6. I agree. Wait have i said too much?

  7. i text more than i talk mainly because its more economic.Unlimited texts costs me 19.99 additional on my bill and i can use those texts whenever.Unlimited anytime minutes however,would cost me both my legs and one arm.Also I can text several people at once rather than just talking on the phone with one person.The only time i actually talk on the phone is when im talking to my mom,conducting business,or on the phone with a love interest.

  8. I can understand the fact that it is more cost effective. However, I think it takes away from human interaction. Well, at least you talk to your mom and potential love interests on the phone.

    I'm so old, I remember life before cell phones!

  9. That wasnt too long ago.In the last twenty or so years the world has really turned around.Technology has really jumped over the last two decades.Now everyone has touch screen phones and PDAs and smartphones.At 10 years ago everyone was excited about nokia flip phones and in the '90s everyone was raging about beepers and phones that could just send an receive calls.

  10. Just to get nostalgic here, I completely remember my beeper. It was neon blue and I felt so amazing that I was important enough (at 17 years old) to have it.

    I also remember that shining day at age 21 when I bought my first cell phone from the AT&T store that was on Broadway and 8th Street. It was a Nokia 2160? I think(?) It was really tiny, and I had no idea how to text message. I was completely cell phone ignorant.

    My friend, Sean, at NYU had to teach me how to text!

  11. my first phone was the original T-Mobile sidekick.I got it when I was 16.I texted myself to sleep every night. I miss those days.Now I fear staying up late.

  12. Ah the sidekick. I remember when they were all the rage.

    It's funny, but the simpler the cell phone I owned, the better it worked! For years, when I had Verizon, I had this crappy looking flip phone, (I think it was a Samsung) with a neon green background and black text. That thing was a warrior. It had service in elevators!
    I dropped it in multiple rain puddles and it still worked!

  13. Yes some phones are truly amazing.They are extremely durable and are really worth their value.To anyone who is planning to buy a smartphone you can really get your value out of many HTC phones. I dont recommend the G1,but i do recommend the Touch Pro 1 & 2,The Tilt 2,and the HTC Imagio.These phones are very durable with hard screens so they wont crack after the first drop.The IPhone screen will crack after a drop on concrete.And all Blackberry Models that are not from the Storm family will literally shatter into puzzle pieces after a really hard drop on concrete.

  14. I won't even go there. I think this world is way too chaotic. I don't need to add to it!

  15. This world is too chaotic and technologically based these days! I agree!

  16. Here here! I am not in any way a part of the texting generation and I find it so annoying when people text away WHILE you're having dinner with them or whatever. Despite being a bloggy-tweeterton, I still often yearn for those quieter days. And I'm worried, so worried about my son, and his future relationship with technology. I try to get him OUTSIDE whenever possible away from TV, Internet, keyboard, phones, etc...

  17. Arg! I know! It's so rude! I yearn for quieter days too ;)


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