My Changing World

Texting on a keyboard phone

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My granddaughter just got a cell phone for her 13th birthday.  When my daughter called to tell me that bit of news, she added, “Mom, you need to get a text package because H.  will definitely be texting you.”  So I headed right down to my Verizon store and added the 250 texts per month text package to my account.  I even bought a new phone that has a slide-out, qwerty keyboard to make texting easier.

I miss my little flip phone, though.  When I bought it several years ago, the sales agent tried to sell me a phone that had all the bells and whistles, but I declined every offer, even the camera.  He said, “You mean the only thing you’re going to do with your phone is talk on it?”  Sorry, I thought that was the point, but apparently I’m way behind the times.

I remember when e-mails replaced hand-written, snail-mail letters.  Many schools don’t teach cursive writing because it’s a waste of time.  Where do you even see cursive writing anymore?  As I peruse the stack of love letters my father wrote to my mother, and the love letters my grandfather wrote to my grandmother, and the letters between my father and his father while my father served in the South Pacific during World War II, I think it’s a little sad that we don’t write to each other like we used to.  We had time to reflect on what we wanted to say. I love having that record.  Our e-mails are not nearly adequate to express what is really on our hearts the way our hand-written letters did.

Now, even e-mails take too long for today’s fast-paced world.  Text messages are becoming the norm.  I’m having trouble getting with the program, however, because I was once an English teacher.  It takes me forever to send a text message because I have to proof-read it first to make sure it is grammatically correct, including spelling, well-placed commas, subject-verb agreement, etc.  I think I’m missing the point of text messaging.

I have used up at least thirty or forty of my text messages already in just two days, so I’m getting nervous that maybe I didn’t get the text package I need.  I thought it would be adequate because the Verizon agent said I’m only using 50 of my 450 minutes of talk time a month.  Who knew we’d text more than we’d talk?  There’s something that still doesn’t feel right about carrying out a text conversation with someone you know is right at the other end of the phone, and you could easily just call them and hear their voice.  But, okay, I’ll go along with what is au courant.  And I have to tell you I am quite proud of myself.  It was painful, but in a message to my granddaughter yesterday, I managed to type u for you.  Maybe there is hope for me after all.

About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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7 Responses to My Changing World

  1. oldereyes says:

    One youngster accuse me of being anal because I spelled all the words and put in punctuation. We used to call that “literate.” I think that if your text is over a certain number of characters, it counts as two texts … you might want to check. That wouldn’t matter to abbreviaters but might affect “speller outers.” Ilove cursive and write with a fountain pen, but then, I’m a dinosaur.

  2. mypajamadays says:

    Don’t worry mom, I tend to text in complete sentences too. What I have loved the most about The Tortoise getting a phone is her messages from the bus in the afternoon, “On my way home now. Can’t wait to see you.”


  3. huffygirl says:

    Agree with above. I don’t have a QUERTY keyboard on my phone, which would make texting so much easier. So I leave out punctuation and caps, but the writer in me is having a hard time letting these things go. My next phone will be a QUERTY, even though I text very little. My granddaughter isn’t old enough for that yet.

    I think part of the reason texting is so popular with kids is that they can be doing something else while they do it, which is harder with talking. I see way too many young people sitting togethr at coffee or a restaurant, virtually ignoring their companions while they sit and text. Might as well just stay home.

    • comingeast says:

      Yes! It seems so rude to me to be texting while you are supposed to be paying attention to your friends or family, but that’s what they do. And not only youngsters; I’ve seen adults do it, too. I don’t know how kids can text and do something else at the same time, though. It takes all my concentration to get a text out!

  4. Bill Tucker says:

    I fear that communicating clear thoughts through writing is becoming a dying skill. We hired a young lady, who was enrolled in an MBA program at a local university who could not form a written sentence. I had to proof and she had to rewrite every communication; finally I was forced to send her on her way.

    Good post!

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